Frances let me step out of the baby room at church yesterday for 15 whole minutes and she didn't even cry a little! That was at the end of the time. I'd tried to step out twice before and she fell to pieces. But she got settled with the two girls who keep the babies in there, and she was fine. I'm so pleased about it. It might mean I can actually be able to go back into Worship and leave her. It might mean that, for the next two and a half months, I can sit in the quiet and focus on the spiritual for 45 or so minutes every Sunday. Then the baby will come, and that will be it for a good while. But 2 and 1/2 months—that's 10 whole Sundays! Maybe I shouldn't get my hopes up too much about it. We'll see how it goes next week.
Christmas was wonderful. I had a large number of family here on the 23rd and served my first big holiday meal. It was very nice despite the fact that I "cooked" the ham for 2 hours in an oven that was never turned on. We just got out appetizers and wine. My brother-in-law suggested that it was a tactic—get the folks hungry and give them enough wine and any meal will taste great. It's pretty effective, it turns out.
And Christmas with a kid is a different country. All the excitement comes back. I even had a new take on Christmas lights in front yards—always I've judged these things by aesthetic standards. Meaning, I've never gotten the huge blow up santas, the giant plastic snow globes filled with snowmen, the lit and moving reindeer. It just didn't make any sense to me. But now, seeing the awe on Frances' face, I get it. None of the over-the-top decorating is as comical to me as before—it has taken on a luster I didn't expect.
So...I went out on the 28th and bought a 6-foot silver tinsel tree at half price for next year. Silver! And I got some light blue balls to go on it. Our little shiny green tinsel one is cute and all, but it's not going to do when there are twice as many enchanted kids in the house. M won't agree to a pink tree ever, but somehow I got him to say he could handle silver. I'm so excited about it I almost want to put it up now, but I'll hold off. It will be our new exciting tree in our new house in a new city. (Is it too melodramatic to say it will be a new life?) It's the next phase, anyway: the two kid, gainfully employed, snowy winter, silver tree phase. Have I said lately that I'm no longer panicked? Our futures come to us filled with uncertainty and these days that's exciting to me.