Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Nine years ago today, my daughter entered the world.

After nearly three full days of trying to trick my body into having her the "old-fashioned way", I relented to a c-section.

We didn't click for some time, my daughter and I. I suppose at some level, I resented this little creature who had put me through such a difficult birth. My husband stepped in and bonded with her while I tried to push through the haze of new motherhood and depression to find my place.

Eventually, though, I fell in love with her and she with me. And I have thanked all that is good and holy for giving her to me each day since.

Today, she is nine.

Happy Birthday, my darling Claire....

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Christmas Bombs

My mom loves Christmas. She always has.

When I was little, once Thanksgiving passed, Christmas officially began. Out came the boxes and boxes and boxes of garland, o
rnaments, Santas, elves and mistletoe (fake, of course).

Every shelf, stand and empty space in our smallish home was decked out in Christmas regalia. We had Christmas rugs and placemats. Christmas wreaths and bows! Everywhere you looked, there was a
Christmas decoration.

My mom was always very particular about how our Christmas tree (fake, of course) looked, too. She sat on the couch and handed my brother and I ornaments one by one and directed us as to where to place them. T
hen she redecorated it for days making sure it was just so. After putting tinsel on strand by strand and forbidding us from touching it, she sat and marveled at the wonder of her work.

After a few years of this, my brother and I tired of being told where to place each ornament and we refused to help (which is what she wanted in the first place). We began to remark, as we got into our teenage years, that she exploded a Christmas bomb while we were at school the day aft
er we returned from Thanksgiving break.

I vowed that when I would never decorate to the extent my mom did. No way, Jose. All I needed was a tree and a few ornaments and who cares what it looks like anyway? In fact, the first few years RxMan and I were together, we didn't even put up a tree or a wreath.

Then I had a child. I wanted Christmas to be
magical, right? So, we got a tree. And some ornaments. And a wreath.

The next year, we got some more ornaments and some electric candles for the windows. Oh, and stockings! And stocking holders.

The following Christmas brought a bigger house and the need for some more wreaths (windows, duh!) and snowmen. And cand
les! And a tree for Claire's room.

Now, years later, we have a large tree and 2 smaller ones in each of my kids' rooms. We also have two other tabletop ones scattered around. Snowmen cover all of my stands and perch above my cabinets, which also house a collection of holiday village pharmacies. We have two sets of stockings and various other Christmas decorations scattered about.

I hung my head in embarrassment the first
time my mom proudly said, "Looks like a Christmas bomb exploded in here, Tone!"

It does, I admit.

I have become my mom.

God help me.

But, in my defense, I don't direct my kids on where to place every ornament just most of them . And I try not to rearrange the ornaments after they are placed on the tree. We don't use tinsel (a cat and a two year old, get it?) and Liam can't keep his fingers off the tree.

So, I am my mom- the decaf version.