Thursday, December 11, 2008

Cupcakes With A Sprinklin' of Nostalgia

I'm letting the cherry chip cupcakes cool right now for my children's birthdays before I put the frosting on them. Chris is 10 today and Koty will be 6 Saturday.

Every year I reiterate that I just can't believe where the time has gone. Seems only yesterday Chris was just a little itty bitty thing when I first entered his life. Seems only yesterday we brought Miss Ko home from the hospital.

I don't know which hurts the heart of a mother more- dealing with the stress of day to day life, or the moments that remind you just how quickly they are growing up.

I think I'll take the latter. The kids can drive me bonkers and the closer we get to the holidays the worse they seem to be acting out- so much so I've threatened to go on strike! LOL

But, I look at the kids now and I see Chris growing into a young man. I'll take a moment to talk about the birthday boy today-

He's still got that chubbiness of childhood in his face, still has that tiny bit of twinkle that suspends disbelief most of the time, but I know one of these days I'm going to look at him and realize he's growing facial hair, taking girls on dates and worrying about getting a car and going to prom and graduation.

He's already on his way toward adulthood, losing bits and pieces of childhood, shedding them like an extra layer of skin he no longer needs. Already this year, he lost his belief in Santa. He questioned it because of kids at school telling him it's the parents who buy the gifts. My heart broke because it's hard to fathom he's at "that age" already.

And yet he still seems to believe in the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny. I'm sure once Easter rolls around, he'll question us about that as well and slowly his childlike beliefs will unravel...Innocence slips away, only to remain in sparkling particles of remembrance and nostalgia.

We are including him in the illusion and allowing him to feel like he's a part of it now. He will help us fill the stockings, though he won't be allowed to see what the presents are and if he's home early enough from his day with his mom, we might allow him to eat a cookie or two and have some milk before he brushes his teeth and goes to bed.

He has been sworn to secrecy about Santa though, so he doesn't ruin it for either of his sisters. They still have a few years to go before the magic of Santa leaves them, but I hope that we're able to help the kids see that he still lives on in our hearts and that it's truly not just about Santa, but about loving one another and being kind and caring.

I still believe, even though I know I am the one playing the part. It's a cherished memory of mine from my childhood and I want my kids to cherish it and carry it on when they have children of their own.

We watched Prancer the other night and I keep hearing the words of Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus which was originally written as an editorial by Francis P. Church for The New York Sun in 1897, in response to a young girl's letter- over a hundred years ago.

I won't reprint any of it here, but you can easily look it up if you wish to read it. It brings me to tears, though this is not something I grew up with, it touches my heart in a way the reminds me that no matter how old I get, and no matter how old my children get, I can only hope I have instilled in them the magic of Santa- the magic of imagination and childhood dreams and the ability to suspend disbelief and have hope.

It's always wise to keep a bit a childhood for yourself, even once you're grown. It's that youthful belief that keeps you young at heart, no matter your age. It keeps you dreaming, wishing, hoping and believing. May we all be so lucky.

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