As we pull into our garage, another day behind us and a new evening ahead, you fuss with your seatbelt as you anxiously wait to be free of the car. The quiet engine is your cue that it’s safe to unbuckle and you waste no time.
Your backpack rests on the floor of the backseat, forgotten along side your lunchbag as you abandon the car and rush through the door to the house. You race up the stairs, shoelaces flying untied and unruly as ever.
Your voice flies behind you, leaving me to guess exactly what you’ve said as you disappear at the top of the stairs.
I unbuckle myself from the car and gather into my arms all the items left behind. Sighing, I kick aside the dirty laundry as I follow in your wake, stretching from under the mound of things threatening to topple from my arms so that I can close the garage door.
When I reach the top of the stairs, I turn the corner to find your socks and shoes kicked about the room, removed in motion as you had made your way to the Christmas tree. I drop the load in my arms and search the room.
There you are, leaned over the arm of a chair, reaching for the socket to plug in the tree. You are singing Christmas songs, Rudolph your current favorite.
The tree flickers and comes to life, blue and red twinkling lights strung about the evergreen branches blink out at me from across the room. You’ve managed to turn on one light over the kitchen table, otherwise the room is dim and the sudden lighting of the tree in the corner has the walls dancing with bright colors.
You pop out from behind the small table there and roll off the chair next to it to sit on the ground in front of the tree. Your tree.
The tree is littered with memories and ornaments. Lots of snowmen hang about the boughs from our first tree when I thought it would be neat to decorate in theme. Then there are glass bulbs we unintentionally break one of every year. And special ones, ones made by you in preschool and others personalized to commemorate something special like your first Christmas and your favorite movie when you were 2, Cars.
There you sit, barefooted and in your school uniform staring at the magic and beauty that is the tree you helped decorate. In your opinion, it’s the best thing ever to have a lit tree in our home. And everyday, without fail, you make your way clumsily through the backseat of the car and clutter, over the laundry waiting to be washed and up the stairs to plug in the magic and spirit of our tree.
I love your unwavering joy and holiday spirit. You embody everything that this time of year means. Giving and gifting, thinking of others and of course, making wishes for a beautiful new year and for a few things you’d love to have.
I’m blessed because while you wish for a new dinosaur or a new toy truck, you also consider things to get for others and ways to help spread the love and cheer. If it were up to you, my son, I’d be baking all day for every friend and family member.
If it were up to you, a shopping cart would be filled to the brim with toys and goodies for boys and girls too ill to celebrate or go home from the hospital. You’d fill boxes with clothes to donate to those who find themselves struggling to make ends meet.
Jake, your heart is big, full of love and this never ending joy I can’t fathom. You surprise me constantly and I fall in love with you over and over again as I watch you grow into a kind and considerate person.
My son, I’m blessed to be your mother and, as you read this a grown man celebrating your holidays however you wish, I hope you always remember the joy you felt when those tree lights sparked and lit the room up from the inside out. I hope that your holidays, though all grown up and with different meanings, still hold a little magic and lots of love.
All the love to the moon and back,
May the beauty of the holidays, however you choose to celebrate, fill your heart with joy and love.
Happy Holidays from our family to yours.