Dillard's dream haunts me. The childhood home dusted in snow. The basement and snow-covered rug. And, of course, Dillard's childhood drawings. The image is almost Christmas-card worthy. Like a Rockwell cover from The Saturday Evening Post.
Merry Christmas Eve Eve. The day before the day before. I didn't have to work today, so I worked all day. Cleaning the house. Putting things away. Taking care of my son. I've always said that I could easily be a stay-at-home dad. I enjoy every part of it, even when my son got me out of bed at 6:45 this morning.
As I was cleaning off my dining room table earlier, I came across some pictures that my son drew a couple Christmases ago at school, like Dillard's sheaf of ink drawings. One was a Christmas tree with cotton ball ornaments, and below it my son had printed our family Christmas traditions. Here's what he wrote (misspellings included):
I always get advent calenders every December and we get cholte! We put are christmas tree up early. yesterday it was my sister's birthday on every December 5.We watched a variety of holiday movies today, too. We just finished The Polar Express (with it's creepy elves), and now we've moved on to A Charlie Brown Christmas. It's the first time this season that I've seen either of them. As soon as I heard the opening chords of "Christmas Time is Here," I had this moment of displacement. I felt like I was about seven years old. When I was a kid, Christmas wasn't Christmas until Charlie Brown came for a visit.
I wonder if, when my son gets to be my age, he will have moments like that. Maybe he'll be watching The Polar Express with his son, and he'll remember today. The waffles I made him for breakfast. Tom Hanks singing "Hot Chocolate." The chocolate star that he ate from his Advent calendar.
That's how traditions get started, I think. With memories of feeling safe and happy. Perhaps my son will have a curious dream when he gets older. A dream about his childhood home covered in a sifting of snow. A picture of a Christmas tree he made in kindergarten. Covered with cotton. And him wanting to eat some cholte.
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