It was a very calm Christmas at our house. One might even venture to call it peaceful.
Eric doesn’t get this week off, so we didn’t travel. We celebrated at home by ourselves.
We didn’t have a tree. We didn’t sing carols. We didn’t have lights. But I think it was one of the best I’ve had.
On Christmas Eve I made pancakes, a rare occurrence these days. Bug and I napped in the afternoon. And I made a last little shopping trip after a spur-of-the-moment decision to do an appetizer evening for the two of us. After the Bug went to bed, we ate to our heart’s content, drank egg nog and cider, wrapped the Bug’s presents, watched Black Christmas while commenting on how dumb everyone was and how much I dislike Olivia Hussey, and played a new game we were gifted. (Thanks Andrea and Spence!)
It was a nice, calm day. And Christmas was no different. We brought the Bug downstairs and tried to interest him in his 4 wrapped presents. (He’d received others but we figured unwrapping 4 was more than enough for one day.) Once we got him interested enough to open one, he was so excited to play with it that he’d forget about the others. It took most of the morning but by the end he seemed to have the hang of it.
I chose wrapping paper with snowmen because I know he likes them. And “snowman” became his word for present. After his nap he asked for “more snowman” so I’m pretty sure he has a handle on the whole present thing now. He played with all his presents and went through every single color of Play-Doh one at a time.
Eric and the Bug were kind enough to let me watch White Christmas. Though I think the Bug enjoyed it. Perhaps he has a thing for Bing? (Don’t we all?)
He was in a great mood all weekend. Something about both Eric and I being around does that to him. Though I’ve seen an all-over turnaround lately in his moods. He’s so much more likely to laugh and play and crawl into your lap. He’s more interactive all the time.
It all got me thinking about how big the Bug is now, how much more he is like a boy than a baby. Which got me nostalgic. And led to Eric and I watching baby Bug videos after he’d gone to bed.
This was his very first Christmas. He looks so different, all big cheeks and big eyes. Then we had to trace the change of when he’d gone from his chubby baby face to his own little Grammer boy face. (End verdict: around 15 months or so, though there are glimpses before.)
And that got us looking at videos like this one. We have already started to forget where Graham was a year ago. Where he was 9 months ago. Where he was 6 months ago. We are so used to his progress that we forget how amazing it is. Like this video, from shortly after his diagnosis when he still didn’t have any real words and our astonishment over his ability to say this one thing was huge. (He lost the word just a couple days later.) I remember how excited I was about this one little thing. When I look at it now, I see how he doesn’t look at me, how he’s stimming in a way he never does anymore. It’s strange.
Shortly after taking that video, I wrote:
This video has a weird effect on me. It’s the most language-related progress we’ve seen out of the Bug in months. But less than an hour after I recorded it he wouldn’t say it anymore. He hasn’t said it since.
It’s kind of like the time he clapped for me a few times… then never did again.
That was a rough period. Knowing his diagnosis, not having started therapy yet, waiting to see if our Bug would ever be verbal, if he’d ever progress at all. Now it’s hard for me to realize that was still in the past year. It was 2011. And look at things now.
I think that Christmas evening, sitting with Eric and talking about our year and the lows we’ve faced and how happy and confident we now feel about the future, I think it was just about perfect.
Money is tight lately, so we weren’t able to give all the gifts we would’ve liked to family and friends. (New Years cards are forthcoming, though!) We also didn’t get each other gifts. We are really grateful for everything we’ve received. I have some Amazon gift cards I’m excited to use, if I can ever figure out what to get! A new cookbook. And a membership to my favorite museum once they reopen in a few weeks.
But having those hours together to talk and enjoy each other was priceless. I know it sounds cheesy, but it’s true. We don’t get a lot of quiet and peaceful time alone where we’re not exhausted or rundown or in a bad mood. Sure, I still want a DSLR camera and I have no idea when we’ll be able to afford the one I want. When I went online and saw people talking about the amazing gifts they gave and received I felt kind of like we were having our own separate holiday all by ourselves that nobody else knows about.
And I liked it.
I expect that as years pass and kids get older our Christmas will inevitably become busier and louder and filled with more presents and toys. But is it bad that I’d kind of like it to stay just like this forever?