Christmas was wonderful this weekend, as it usually is when shared with a small child. We did our traveling on Friday (Christmas Eve), visiting my folks in western MA. This was quite fun, although my folks and our son C are going through a tough period in their relationship where C is being held to a higher standard of behavior from them now than he has been in the past (less running and jumping allowed, no "silly" conversations acceptable any more, for instance). As a result, he's feeling they've become very strict (his word is "mean") with him and he hasn't enjoyed visiting with them on recent trips this year as much as he always has in the past.
This is troubling to me because I valued my relationship with my grandmother tremendously when growing up, and I've been very happy to see C enjoying his grandparents so much since he's been little. But for the moment he doesn't like visiting Nana & Grandpa as he always had and that's a shame. Of course all relationships change with time and it won't take C long now I'm sure for his behavior to catch up with their expectations. Alas, not long at all.
Indeed, we came home Friday night so we could have our family Christmas ourselves on Saturday morning, and it was very fun, very sweet, very special. But I was also very aware that this may well be our last Christmas with our "little child", the one who hugs us after every gift, runs around the room playing with each new toy as it's opened, and who still enjoys action figures and stuffed Pokemon dolls as much as he now enjoys video games and books.
He's maturing quickly now though and I'm thinking that by next year we'll likely be having Christmas with our "big kid". Maybe he'll be getting too cool to let his excitement show, too cool to run and jump into our arms after each particularly wonderful gift. Cool enough to have "a higher standard of behavior".
I'm not afraid of those days, they'll be wonderful in their own way, but it's another reminder of how fleeting childhood can be and it did add a tinge of the bittersweet to my holiday as I put C to bed Saturday night, clutching a small stuffed Pokemon doll in his hand as he fell asleep.
After our quiet family holiday on Saturday, The Momma's family (parents, brother and sister-in-law) all came for a visit Sunday afternoon, another very fun day especially as I don't get to see any of them very often. (With The Momma working weekends she and C usually visit her family during the week when I'm working.) We had a nice afternoon and evening before they all rushed home to beat Sunday night's snowstorm.
We don't have any big plans for New Year's this year, probably just a night home with the three of us. (It won't necessarily be a quiet night, though, we'll still be dancing and partying!) I certainly do miss the days of our infamous "Blues Bashes" back in the 80's and 90's, parties that would last anywhere from two to four nights and draw scores of people from all up and down the northeast corridor. Those days are largely over now with so many of us tending to our own families. Still, one of these years, maybe soon, I'll see if the interest is there to try it again... though probably a small party, maybe we'll even limit it to just one night!
Happy Holidays to all, and remember not to take any of these special times for granted... Hail the Tiki!