Worries of Christmases past

Worries of Christmases past

At this time a decade ago, I worried about the dreaded Santa request switcheroo that preschoolers are known to pull at the last minute.

I feared that my preschooler would decide that she no longer wanted a princess dress and opt for something else. If I wasn't on my toes and able to anticipate any last minute needs, would the jolly old elf's jig be up?

Would I be capable of maintaining the magic?

A few years later, I worried that the doll from the Island of Misfit Toys would not arrive in time.

The doll that she requested from Santa was no longer manufactured and hadn't been for many years. It had taken a large number of hours to track down and even larger amount of money to procure from Ebay. Would it be all for naught?

I was also concerned that my little girl's tender heart, the one that wanted to make sure that the doll from Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer was well-loved, would be hurt.

How would I teach her to stay sweet yet be tough in the face of the cruelty sometimes found in this world?

I worried about the sheep costume for the Christmas pageant.

My daughter was to be a sheep in the "Christmas Eve Spectacular starring Jesus," as a friend had dubbed the production.

I had been told a costume would be provided. At the last minute, I found out that no, there were no more sheep costumes. I would need to make one on very short notice.

I was at the end of my single parent holiday rope/ribbon.

I had a meltdown and then got to work gluing cotton balls. I confess that I stapled ears to a hat. It wasn't pretty, but she deemed it passable. My fears of them scratching her scalp were not realized, she escaped unscathed.

She looked adorable sitting on the steps of the altar with her Sheepie, the small stuffed animal she has loved since babyhood, while the two shepherds behind her hit each other with their staffs.

Then I worried about telling her the truth abut Santa.

I feared both my girl finding out and what possible damage I was doing by not coming clean. It seemed she vacillated in her stance, skeptical one moment, fervent believer the next. Trust is so valuable, and I didn't want to damage it.

Making her a part of the magic of giving would be great, of course. But also different from the story that had brought us both much joy.

Today, all of those worries have faded. And I miss them.

There's the saying that if everyone threw their worries into a circle, you'd want your own back. That's certainly true for me. I was privileged to have those worries, and this child, who is not so child-like these days. Sometimes teens give us flashes of those days long ago, but now it's also very easy to see the worries of Christmases future, when she's in college and beyond.

For now, I'm trying hard to stay in this Christmas present, because it has its own worries, but also its own delights, and I wouldn't trade them for anything.

This post is part of ChicagoNow's monthly Blogapalooza. Participants are given a topic and one hour to write a post on it. Tonight's prompt was: "Write about things you once worried about but don't anymore." You can see the other posts written on that topic here.

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