We spent the Christmas weekend with my brother and his family. The most charming addition to the family is my niece's son who had his first birthday last month. Christmas really is for children and watching this little being engage with all things Christmas and family was a real delight for me.
It has been a while since we have had real 'little ones' amongst us so this was indeed a very rare and lovely treat. He didn't disappoint us at all; he smiled and giggled while he tore a swath through his grandparent's house. Children, especially one year olds, don't know the meaning of 'no,' 'don't touch,' and 'watch your head.' They are on a mission to discover everything they can in the few short hours that they are conscious and awake.
While we all enjoyed his loveliness it was also pretty apparent that the parents were not always having a great time. The emergence of four new molars were causing more than a few sleepless nights for all concerned and the resulting sleep deprivation, that is a new parents norm, was readily apparent. When asked how they were, the common answer was 'tired.'
I think the thing we get to enjoy about the grand kids or a grandnephew in my case, is that we can appreciate their innocent joy at all things new without the sleepless nights. While their adventures are a wee bit exhausting for the few hours we are with them, we can go home, sleep in our own bed and enjoy an undisturbed night's sleep while reveling in the experience of a Christmas shared with a young baby.
Back home we turned on the TV to the news that that once again, people were being stranded by the snow. Snow has brought a whole new experience to people this year. Being thrown together with strangers is perhaps the ultimate Christmas test; can I still express love and caring with people I don't know? It sounds like many people on the Eastern Seaboard of the US have done just that. Surrendering to the inevitable and enjoying getting to know the strangers who share their predicament.
We may not always get the experience we want at Christmas but I do believe we get the experience we need.
It really is all about the child.