While the Coach has a VERY large family....I have a teensy family in comparison.
Just my mom, dad and one younger brother.
As a result, I cannot reminisce, without thinking of him.
My brother is no longer himself. He is a different version of that self. The new self is an extraordinary Uncle, who loves my children without distraction and dotes on each unconditionally. That version, I cannot help but love and feel extremely grateful for.
Unfortunately, for the selfish me... my brother, does not have a clear memory of our past. Making my trips down memory lane lonely and painful.
That said, I am trying to shine light on the positive. This is the first year, Tink really 'gets' Christmas. I am watching her and The Kid, work into a frenzy of excitement. I am sharing in that joy, filling my heart to the brim with my three kids.
Many of the traditions in my 'new' family, are from my 'old' family. Each one, I shared with my brother.
We were allowed to open One Present on Christmas Eve. Typically, new pajamas. Later, we would exchange our sibling presents. Normally, he got me a book.
We could usually con our parents into opening a Christmas Eve Eve present on the 23rd. I am trying to push that in my home. In the past couple years it has been a movie, for 'Family Movie Night'.
On Christmas Eve, we would order a pizza, play old Christmas music (while dad hummed) and read 'Twas the night' in our new jammies. This year, we plan on replicating this (after Mass, with newer music and without Coach humming).
Christmas eve, My Brother would sleep in my room. This had less to do with bonding and more out of fear the other would wake first and get the stockings.
After a few years, I became rude and forced him to my floor. When I was 15... I forced him into his room. (He was very disappointed and this would be one of those memories I regret, in hindsight.) As The Kid behaves annoyed with Tink, it is hard not to yell "Appreciate what you have with your little sister, while you still have it!!"
On Christmas morning, My Brother and I opened the stockings without our parents. Dad needed extra time to crawl out of bed, put on a robe and fill a cup of coffee. Our Santa, loved stockings and they were nearly as awesome as the actual presents.
My children's Santa, feels the same. We would quickly open the rest of our gifts, carry our loot into our rooms and wait while mom made breakfast. Occasionally, we would travel out of town, usually we would stay home. ALWAYS...we would watch A Christmas Story. Each year, my dad would find it just as hilarious, as the year before.
My most treasured Christmas, would be the 'Year of the Giant Christmas Tree'. The tree was huge, I got Smurf jammies and a Barbie Condo with an elevator. I continue to duplicate the huge tree, every year in my home. Though, without the 4 boxes of tacky tinsel my mom, loved so very much!
I love to remember my childhood, though it makes me miss my brother. I am not able to turn toward him and say "Remember when"... which is sad, because we have several great "Remember whens". Above all, I miss his sarcasm. It is a bummer, when you do not have a sibling, to make fun of your parents.
He has, however, taught me that life moves at warp speed and you are never promised anything. As the next week progresses, I will take a breath, slow down and soak up every smile on my children's faces. Hopefully, our holiday traditions will pass to our grandchildren.
But not too soon. I want to live in this moment,
#1. I am not an Umpa Lumpa, the paper has oranged. Probably, from bad storage: not my age!
#2. Cool, Bears jammies.
#3. We were not Amish...I can't really explain that dress. Or his dorky felt sweater. At least, we were cute enough to pull it off.
Friday, December 18, 2009
Ye ol' Christmas Past.
A ghost shall visit (disguised as Carbon Hill) and take you on a trip to your Christmas Past.