Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Merry + Happy

I'm not the only one feeling the madness these days, right? Christmas is over, our cards made it out the door on time, there are no more presents to wrap or cookies to bake, and I still feel like I hardly have a minute to breathe, let alone string together coherent sentencesThere's probably a New Year's resolution hiding in there somewhere.

Part of the non-stop nature of the season is that Quinn's daycare takes a two-week break this time of year. And Quinn does not take a break, ever. I mean, would you be able to nap if Santa had just dropped off a sleigh-full of new toys at your house? No, neither can my little guy.

So I have been busy engineering train tracks and launching rockets and traveling to the moon and going on pirate adventures the past week. My life could be worse. I am immensely grateful for this time.

But I've also been trying to find time to sit and reflect, to write down some of that reflecting here, to remember and take note of all--or at least some of--the things that make the holiday season so wonderful. Because if I take note of it, in some small way, it will last. Right?

I have so much to be grateful for, and what better time to reflect on that than year's end?

There is Quinn, of course. Quinn, with his "Merry Chris'em!" and "Yook! Chris'em yights!" and "It's Chris'emtime!" We may never speak English the same again in this household. (Have I told you about the "rainis bars"? We haven't used the word "raisins" since Quinn introduced us to "rainis-es.")

I love that he giggles when he hears "Santa, Baby" playing on the radio, and responds with, "Awwww, that's so cute!" because he pictures Santa in diapers.

I love that he adamantly says, "Santa Claus is NOT coming to town! Santa is."

I love that he marvels at peoples' Christmas lights as much as I do, sees the magic in them, is already witty enough to make a joke about how it must've hurt to wrap lights around the Saguaro cactuses.

There is Chris, stringing lights so I won't have to, reading dinosaur Christmas stories to Quinn before bed, mostly keeping his cool even though his important research trip to Ethiopia in January fell through (for the time being), warming my cold feet with his under the covers at night, and burning a wish with me in our fireplace just before midnight on the solstice because I'd wanted to continue the tradition his colleague started for us a few years ago. I don't know what Chris wished for, but I'll admit I wanted to do this ritual again to ensure my wishes keep coming true.

There is my health, obviously. No news is good news, and for now, all is quiet on the cancer front. I had chemo on Christmas Eve, so I wasn't feeling particularly well on Christmas day, but what better holiday to stay in your pjs until 3 in the afternoon, sipping tea and staving off nausea with comfort food? I can't think of one. I even cheated and had a glass of wine with Christmas dinner.

There is what my body is able to do, and I don't just mean cancer-wise. I can hold a handstand in yoga for a few breaths (next stop, "chin pose"). I can play hide-and-seek with Quinn. I can go hiking less than a week post-chemo. I don't take a second of that for granted, and am usually the one on the trail grunting "Fuck you, cancer" under my breath the whole way up. Last weekend, even though I didn't make it quite to the top of the mountain, I got to see this incredible view along the way.
There are our friends and family, who encourage us daily. We are so fortunate. Our lives are so filled with love. The giant stack of holiday cards we've received is a testament to that. I love the mailbox this time of year.

We have been through the ringer the last few years. We have grieved the death of Chris' dad, witnessed the unraveling of my parents' marriage, and dealt with my cancer diagnosis and its repercussions. But we also had Quinn, bought a new house this year, and Google+ just sent me this video, an eerily timely reminder of what a great year it's been.
Happy 2014, you guys. 

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