I can never quite let Christmas end on December 26. It doesn't seem right to let it go so soon. So I'm continuing to listen to Christmas music and enjoy the lights on our Christmas tree. That being said, Christmas did really feel cut short this year when my daughter and her family left mid-day Monday. All the fun, the laughter, the patter of little feet were gone. I felt sad to see them go.
Both daughters and older daughter's children came on Saturday the 17th. Younger daughter left on Wednesday the 21st, and son-in-law came on Thursday the 22nd. The days were a whirlwind of activity, both at home and away from home.
On Monday we visited a thrift store, then drove to our favorite bagel shop for a slightly early dinner on the way to Merry TubaChristmas. Have you been to TubaChristmas before? Is there one in your city? It's become one of our new traditions.
We were just minutes too late for the early show so went to the nearby library and found a fun playroom for the children. There were books, puzzles, toys. But the favorite of all three children was the little house. Libraries are amazing these days. When I was young we whispered.
We headed back to TubaChristmas to get good seats. (I prefer the balcony but younger daughter thinks it's too loud. We sat on the first floor.) The video below is not great: both sound and image are somewhat low-grade but I love it because it reminds me that 180 tubas and euphoniums (smaller tuba-like instruments) all playing together sound mostly (to my imagination) like music coming through whale blubber. I can't think of any other way to describe the sound. If you ever have the opportunity to go to a Merry TubaChristmas concert, I highly recommend it. Live is much better than any recording. (Another video is available here.)
And then there was tuba applause. They make wonderful music and they applaud in silence.
I carried tired little 11-month-old Isaac to the foyer so his crying wouldn't disturb others in the audience. The conductor, on break while another musician was conducting, was standing nearby. He commented that practicing his tuba at home while his children were little never disturbed them: tubas are very calming. When I went back in to sit down I found little nearly-three-year-old Olivia asleep in her mother's arms. Calming, indeed.
The children loved shopping at Ikea the next day and especially enjoyed the little rooms for children. Unfortunately, Isaac brought home a cold and was miserable for the rest of their visit. Olivia caught Isaac's cold by Thursday and we had two sick children. Of the children, only Malachi remained healthy.
It was a merry Christmas but it could have been merrier had the little ones not been sick.
Our daughters and I imagined doing so many things while they were here. I forgot how much longer things take with children, how divided one's attention is, and much time they need. Our expectations and imaginations were bigger what we were able to accomplish.
And now that they're gone -- those little ones who occupied my attention all day for 10 days and sometimes during the night too -- I'm trying to regroup, trying to remember what I was doing before they came, what I intended to do after they left. But mostly I just miss having all of them here. Still, I'm celebrating Christmas for a few more days.
I hope you had a Merry Christmas!