I’m always excited about the holidays. I love everything about this season: the tree, the parties, the cookies, random acts of kindness, strangers smiling at each other, Christmas carols and concerts, and, most importantly flying out west to see my family. Christmas is the only time of year that’s guaranteed I’ll see them. Sometimes, my parents fly out east, and sometimes we meet them somewhere for a few days, but Christmas is non-negotiable. We spend Thanksgiving in Las Vegas with Mike’s family and Christmas in Seattle with mine. And I know how fortunate we are to not have to alternate for the holidays or make time for both families each holiday.
This Christmas, of course, is particularly special because it’s our first Christmas with Teddy and it’s the first time my family will meet him. (Video chats are cool, but they’re not the same.)
And there’s one small reason I’m quite excited to have Teddy around this Christmas. You see, I’ve always been the baby of the family. And in our family, the baby of the family distributes the presents. For several decades, I was fine with this. But once I hit my 30s, I felt a bit silly being summoned, once again, to fetch the gaily colored packages from beneath the tree and pass them to the person named on the tag. I would cajole my brother, who’s five years older than me and equally disinclined to spend prolonged periods of time rustling under the tree, to help me. Sometimes he would; sometimes he wouldn’t.
But now, now, there really is a baby of the family! Granted, Teddy’s not old enough to lift a box, read a tag, and walk to a recipient, but that’s where I come in, to help him with his newly assigned role. I may be the one actually distributing the packages, but the attention will no longer be on me. Teddy will be the focus. And I’ll be doing the classic speaking for the infant. “Who does this one go to, Teddy? Grandpa? Well, let’s take it to him, then, shall we?” And I won’t feel even slightly silly doing this.
You scoff, but I really am excited about passing the baton, if you will.
I know I’ll always be my mama’s baby, but now there’s a new youngest person in the family, and I couldn’t be happier.