Most people remember hitting the lottery: knock on the door, balloons and oversized check, go to CVS to pick up some MoneyPaks for the taxes. Not me. I was so busy I somehow missed it. I won the life lottery.
I realized it at our Christmas Eve service. We got there early (3 minutes before it started at 6). After 7.5 years of parenting we still haven’t learned that keeping kids in the big service is never a good idea. “But it’s Christmas.” Uh sure. So there we were: Berto and I in our matching ties, Stacy, Lilly and Amanda helping Lilly with her hot chocolate. “If you behave during the service, then you can have some hot chocolate.” But kids are really smart. 30 seconds after that interaction she “went to look at the model train” which meant wander over to said train, run into friends, then we all go get hot chocolate. “Dads wanna be cool. My dad won’t tell you no and your dad won’t tell me no.”
And during the first song Stacy looked at me and smiled. Next to the virgin birth, this was probably the second miraclest of Christmas miracles. Just a few hours before church we had gone hiking as a family.
Stacy’s idea of the outdoors is driving with the window halfway down. Well quarter-way. Oh and she’s cold if it’s less than 87 degrees. Which is why we live in Arizona since it’s all desert, saguaro cacti and 103 degrees year ’round.
We’ve got hotel reservations to hike Rim2Rim next September so we need to start training. I’ve begun walking around with 89 pounds in a backpack since I’m 98% sure I’m going to be carrying her at some point of the 24 miles (she only weighs 79 but we’ll both have small packs with water). I’ll be carrying her because I’m that kinda guy not because she can’t do it. Calm down.
So here we are taking a break. Why? Because we’re on the downhill of course. And the sun went behind some clouds, and now we’re in the shade of the trees so it’s about 43 degrees. But the kids want to make dirt piles that look like dog poop to freak out the next person. We ain’t gonna say no to that. And about twenty minutes later Lilly naturally wanted to wash the “dog poop” off her hands in the stream. “Sure just break through that small layer of ice first.”
And then the next day we went on another hike. Only this time it was 15 degrees colder and we didn’t have trees for a wind break. But it meant no one else was dumb enough to be out there so we had the entire place to ourselves.
After all that awesomeness we decided to continue another Christmas tradition: sleeping under the Christmas tree. This is where we decide to lay on an air mattress for 3 hours laughing, kicking, falling off, giggling, crying and occasionally the kids do some of that too. A nice reprieve from the typical: tuck kids in at 7:30, pray for nightmares to go away at 7:45, explain that monsters in closet only come out if you don’t go to sleep around 8:15. And then welcome at least one kid into our bed around 10.
Back to the tree sleeping.
- #1: explain “under Christmas tree” does not mean “under Christmas tree” sometime before 2 hours after two year old’s bed time. Otherwise you might have
- #2: charge the air mattress blower upper more than 4 seconds before wanting to blow up the mattress. Stacy usually lasts the whole night. Me? When I wake up convinced it’s 5:30am and I’m only off by 5 hours, I head to bed.
Where was I? Oh yeah Christmas Eve. I’m usually completely idiotic. And not in a good way. I miss this stuff. I think “that lady makes more than I do” and “that guy gets more time off than I do” and “I wish I could travel more” and “man planning this trip to Cambodia takes months” and “I wish I was taller” followed by “huh. must suck for that guy to not fit in an airplane?” It goes on and on.
- He sent His son to Earth for me. And you.
- My family is intact.
- My intact family is healthy. We wouldn’t have even met a low deductible this year. Especially nice with a deductible higher than the value of all our cars. Combined.
- Seriously numbnuts (talking to myself here) when you’re reading this in the future. Stop.
drop and rollLook around. Life’s pretty awesome.
So Merry Christmas! If we didn’t make it to your house with cookies, then you should move closer.