This Christmas season was (is) one of the best to date. I’m just so blessed, so privileged. And it’s funny because sometimes it takes a special occasion like Christmas to make me stop and realize just how fortunate I am. I’ve really enjoyed all of the cookie baking, gift wrapping and opening, seeing family, all the wonderful things that accompany this time of year. But if I could bottle a moment and keep it forever, it’d be Christmas Eve.
More specifically it’d be getting ready for Mass on Christmas Eve.
Big surprise, we were running late. I had planned to meet Vin’s family at the 6 pm children’s Mass and I was in the zone because our church is huge and seats fill up like Bono’s playing on Christmas Eve. Big surprise again, but Vin was called in to work instead of getting the day off, so the poor guy made it home just in time to change clothes, throw some dresses on the girls and load everybody up. I was frantically running around trying to wake people up from naps that were somehow going super-long (because why wouldn’t they nap longer when I need them to wake up?). Ev needed to be fed, so naturally I was rushing around like a crazy person in my dress pants and bra. (And by “dress pants” I mean the maternity pants I’m still convincing myself are acceptable to wear because they’re black and I’m pathetic. Don’t judge and whatever you do don’t tell Stacy London. I’ll stop, I promise.) By all counts this had a “Mary Susan Melt-Down” written all over it. This is the exact thing that sends me over the edge every. single. time.
But miraculously, the girls woke up from their naps in good moods. This isn’t normal. Usually Maggie is spitting nails when she wakes up from a nap. But Christmas Eve was different. Both girls were pleasant! Ev ate and was happy to be in his swing and while Vin got the girls wrangled into tights, I ran upstairs to frantically scrounge the floor for a semi-clean dressy-ish shirt to wear to Mass.
And that’s when it started. The Delagrange Dance Party. This is Vin’s signature move and one of the reasons I love him with all my heart. The man loves a dance party and he’s one hell of a DJ. As I ran downstairs, still shirtless because the floor was a fruitless endeavor, I was greeted with the sight of my half-dressed family dancing like maniacs to “Don’t Drop That Thun Thun” (the clean version, don’t worry hip-hop fans).
And, oh my gosh, was that a beautiful sight. All of my stress about finding a seat at church and meeting up with the family and having food ready for people after Mass and staying up wrapping presents and, and, and…all of that melted away. And we all danced like fools because that’s what we do.
And when Vin seamlessly segued into “Wake Me Up” and the girls grabbed our hands and led us in a circle complete with a Cinderella Barbie, it was the most perfect moment of all.
I just want to bottle that time. I want to be able to keep those minutes in a crystal vial like Harry Potter and dive into them whenever I want, just to feel the magic of it all again. I never want to forget what it feels like to stop caring about the pointless pressures I put on myself and just be with my family. If I had a bottle full of that moment I would sip it all the time so I could just take in that feeling of joy, fill myself up with the giggling and the exhilaration that can only come from dancing around in your bra – kind of wild, but kind of vulnerable, too. I would drink in that feeling of connectedness, of a moment when I just let go and enjoyed them and we held hands and Ev laughed at us all from his swing.
Gosh, that was a perfect moment.
One of my New Year’s Resolutions (because I love New Year’s Resolutions) is to be more open to moments like that. I know I shut down a lot of fun because of my own self-consciousness and obsession with societal pressures and expectations. I worry a lot about doing what’s “right” and what’s “expected” when I should really embrace the fact that we’re a family that dances in our underwear. We’re a family that blares hip-hop music on Christmas Eve. We’re late for Mass, when we actually get there. Our clothes aren’t the fanciest and some of us are still wearing giant elastic pants that we have no business being in. We’re so special and wonderful. We are so perfect for each other, it’s obvious that we belong to each other. I’d be an absolute fool to want to trade any of that for “normalcy” or punctuality or whatever it is I’ve convinced myself is necessary. An absolute fool.
I hope you had a perfect moment this Christmas. I hope you had a moment that made you pause and think, “This, this is what it’s all about” and vow to never forget that feeling. What was it? What’s the most recent memory you want to bottle up and keep?