When I first started this blog, I considered creating a category for "infertility" because I knew it was bound to come up. I decided to see how long I could go without mentioning it. And even though I'm mentioning it now, I still don't think it warrants a whole category. That, my friends, is huge for me. There was a time when that category would have been the only one with any entries and you would have watched me unravel one thread at a time.
There are still times that I am pouty about not having a child. I hesitate to tell what brings it on, though, because for some reason, those who have children often feel "guilty" about the fact that they do when they are in my presence and I am discussing the fact that I don't. But, it's rarely anything in particular that causes me to fret over my empty nest...and in fact, in the last few years, I've grown to appreciate the foresight God or Mother Nature or whomever had when the decision was made to leave me be - childless, free to do and go as I wish, and most importantly, without a teenager.
Where was I going with this? Oh - Christmas. Christmas is the time of year I am most likely to obsess about my childlessness. It just seems so unfair that I don't have a little someone to run all over town buying Santa surprises for. Having nieces and nephews to buy for has helped. I get to hear their tales of Christmas morning, see adorable pictures of them with Santa, and then leave them all wild-eyed and hopped up on sugar with their parents while I go home to my peaceful and somewhat clueless little dogs. I've even spent the night with my sister and helped facilitate Santa for her little ones. (Which, by the way, would have been a more endearing memory if they hadn't come down with a stomach virus and thrown up all morning instead of posing for cute pictures with all of their loot.)
This year PJ's cousin asked him to be Santa on Christmas Eve for their five year-old child. It seemed simple enough until we heard that this little boy was going to be hiding with his dad (and anyone else in the house) to watch Santa bring in the gifts and fill the stockings. YIKES. That's a bit intimidating. PJ began to worry (as did I) that the child would recognize him. But Mr. and Mrs. cousin seemed to have it all worked out, and apparently this is a long-standing tradition in their family. (All the more reason to worry that you might be the one who messes it up.)
I'm happy to report that it went off beautifully. I made reindeer noises on the deck complete with bells and clanging about while PJ donned the not-so-convincing cheap suit and stomped in and out of the house ho ho ho-ing, leaving gifts and eating cookies. Once everyone was convinced the coast was clear, little cousin climbed out of hiding and ran to the tree to see what Santa had left. It was a beautiful thing - those big eyes and that huge grin; the squeals of delight and apparent awe that Santa knew he wanted exactly that. It never occurred to little cousin that the man in the red suit could be anyone other than Santa. He believed with all of his heart, and he probably didn't even need the rest of us knocking ourselves out to make sure he bought it. He bought it hook, line and sinker. He especially loved that the reindeer made a mess of their food on the deck, and asked me more than once if I thought Cupid or Comet had been the culprit. One day I'll tell him about how I stood out in the rain and threw oatmeal and carrots all over the place so that he would think the reindeer appreciated the bowl of treats he left for them.
So, being childless is yet another reason why Christmas is sometimes hard for me. But this year I discovered the best medicine yet. I woke up Christmas morning thinking about the night before and believing that all was good and as it should be. I just needed a little Christmas...
I just needed a little cousin and a little magic.