Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Eve

It won't be that bad, I think. Everyone else had their kids' pictures taken with Santa ages ago. I'm sure I'm the only mother left who waited until Christmas Eve. And that way I can give the boys' nanny a ride to the Metro, and she can leave early. It'll be nice for everyone.

That is what I'm thinking as I pack the kids up and drive everyone to the mall, which of course is a madhouse, and I realize too late that I'm an idiot. We enter through the garage on an upper level and have to take the elevator downstairs. It is a huge glass elevator, and the boys love it. Primo begs to hold my hand, the way he usually does when something scares him a little but he's trying to be a trooper about it, like when I'm grinding coffee in the kitchen.

We reach Santa and the line is long, long, long. I try to prep the boys on the sidelines before we get in line, pointing out how other kids are sitting on Santa's lap and how much fun this will be. Santa notices us and waves obligingly. The boys ignore him completely. A woman comes by with picture samples and they are overpriced, of course, but the background and the poses also look slightly creepy to me.

What do you want to do? I ask the boys. Do you want to go see Santa?

Quiero el ascensor de cristal, they respond in unison.

So we go for a ride in the glass elevator again, and they are silent and filled with wonder. We head over to a pretzel shack and split a pretzel. They are amazed to see a pretzel that big. We hang out on a bench and eat it, and they marvel at the lights and decorations hanging in the atrium. Mira todas las luces, says Primo. Estrella, Secondo says softly, and points at a glittery star. The fact that my boy is pointing at things and naming them of his own volition is such a huge deal that it makes me want to cry, right there in the food court at the mall on Christmas Eve. I'm completely relaxed and at peace, even as throngs of people surround me. Even the trip back to the car in the plain parking elevator is fun.

And the only thing we bought was that pretzel.

Merry Christmas.


Karen said...

Sounds like a really nice Christmas Eve. :)

Anonymous said... heart is melting.

Happy New Year to all of you!