Sunday, April 12, 2009

Christmas in the Family

It was almost Christmas, a time of year that called for peace on earth and jolly Old Saint Nicholas. It was always her favorite time of year…

It’s only fair to start when things are supposed to start. It was a Christmas Eve twenty-two years ago. Mommy had been eight months pregnant, due at the end of January, a three year old big brother bouncing around the house and an angry Daddy. She was going to wait until after Christmas to get ready for the baby, she just needed to get through one thing at a time.

A small Christmas Eve dinner and early to bed, didn’t want to keep Santa away with wide awake eyes. The little boy lay in bed, still, quiet, trying to be asleep while quivering with the excitement of Christmas Morning so close. Down the hall, Mommy was giving Daddy his Christmas present early, and that’s how Eve got here.

Contractions began just after bed time. A neighbor watched the little boy, finally asleep in his bed, while Mommy and Daddy sped to the hospital. The little baby girl was born just before midnight, their own little gift of God.

Sixteen years later, a little before Christmas, Mommy and Eve had a big fight. They loved each other, but they didn’t get along very well. Mommy told Eve to go out. Mommy didn’t mean forever, but Eve thought she did. So Eve went away.

Six years after Eve went away, just a little before Christmas Mommy got a Christmas present early. Some police men came to Mommy’s door. They gave her The Most Beautiful Thing in the world and a book. Mommy read it, even though she thinks it was for me.

The book was a story about Eve. She wrote down all the stories about where she went and what she did. What made her happy and what made her sad. Mommy says there are lots of letters in it I can read when I’m bigger because it gets really sad at the end.

When I ask Mommy what The Most Beautiful Thing is, she gets a sad smile on her face and says she’ll tell me when I’m older. The book is on a shelf with dried up flowers in my room where I can’t touch it.

It’s almost Christmas, a time of year that calls for peace on earth and jolly Old Saint Nicholas. It is always my favorite time of year because my birthday is just eight days before Christmas. Mommy said Christmas runs in the family and that’s why she called me Noel Eve.

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