||[Dec. 21st, 2006|10:23 pm]
I like to write a short piece around Christmas every year. Here's this year's installment. The last one posted in my LJ is here, if you want to read it.|
Last Turn as a Quiet Couple
My wife and I were sitting together at dinner and I pointed out that this will be our last Christmas as a couple. She’s pregnant and, with the fervent hope that everything goes well, we’ll have a son or daughter with us next year. There’ll no longer be just two. This will be our last holiday season to sit quietly at home, a couple on the couch, admiring strings of lights we mostly hung in the front windows.
What will that Christmas be like? I honestly have no idea. I have only the vaguest of guesses as to what our family life might be like at that point. Our child will be about six months old during the next holidays. But what will they be like? Where will we be living? What state will our house be in? What state will our sanity be in? In what profound ways will being parents have altered us?
It’s something that I look forward to, even though I don’t know exactly what it will all mean. It’ll be a new experience. We’re both excited, though we feel that we aren’t prepared for it. We also think we’ll continue to feel unprepared for the next couple decades, however, so we decided to just get on with things. Parenthood is something that’s both enticing and terrifying at the same time. I’d liken it to bungee jumping, except that I’ve never done that, either.
How will we choose to celebrate Christmas? It’s not as if we celebrate the holiday because we’re particularly religious. But I do enjoy Christmas and its message of peace and goodwill among men. Besides, “Atheist Children Get Presents Day” is quite the mouthful.
And what about Santa? Will we take our baby to see Santa? It seems somewhat cruel to force someone wearing a hot suit to adore a small infant who, statistically, is likely to explode in bawling terror when handed to a giant, red stranger. Maybe that’ll be something further in the future.
Given the season, it’s hard not to think about looming parenthood even more than usual. Christmas abounds with images of children, whether begging for toys, unwrapping their toys, or immediately breaking their toys. Christmastime seems rife with imagery of the family; our definition of “family” is in transition.
Right now, saying “Christmas with our family” means we’re taking a trip to either my parents’ house or her parents’ house. Next year, we’ll be our own family. What will our child be like? What will we be like? Time will tell.
I only wish for us the same thing I wish for all of you: happiness, health, and peace. Merry Christmas!