Finally, things are beginning to look up.
This morning we left the house early to be one of the first in line to see Santa Claus when he arrived to his chair! Brian was very excited and couldn't wait to tell him he loved him, he told me.
It felt good to be out in public - walking around - enjoying the holiday decorations, hustle and bustle. It really did. When we got to the front of the line, Brian was first to walk up.
"Did you get my letter?" he asked immediately, albeit shyly.
Then he sat and told Santa what he wanted for Christmas. Cars and trucks and angry birds and lots of toys for Gavin.
Before Brian left his lap, we placed Gavin on Santa's other knee. Gavin IMMEDIATELY smiled - but not a single one of us captured it!! Boo!!! But rest assured, Ed and I won't forget that moment when both of our boys were sitting there smiling on Santa's lap.
Then it was time for Gavin's solo picture. He could have stayed there with Santa all day long! He was mesmerized with the furry cuff on his coat and loved looking around at all the lights and decorations. Santa was so sweet and gentle with both of my boys.
But - I have a regret.
As I was paying for the over-priced packages, I felt as if I needed a Santa do-over. There's a bit of pressure when you get to the front of the line. I didn't want to hold anyone up so I found myself rushing everything. And, of course, you want to be sure you get a good picture to capture the moment.
But did I capture the moment?
I think sometimes it's easy to get lost behind "capturing the moment" - to the point that the moment you "capture" ends up being the manufactured one.
So this week, if we can swing it, we're going back to see Santa and I'm leaving my camera at home. I want to listen to Brian talk to him. I want to enjoy watching Gavin sitting calmly and hear what Santa whispers in his ear. If my long illness (which seemed like an eternity to me) taught me anything, it's that the simple things matter the most. They were what I missed more than anything as I laid in that hospital bed. Like the private moments when I'm tucking Brian into bed and we go through our nightly "mutual admiration" ritual. Or the second I see Gavin being wheeled out of school after a long morning of missing him. Watching my children's eyes light up when their Daddy walks through the door at the end of the day. You can't possibly "capture" those moments in a photograph. But those really are the moments that matter most.
This holiday season, with all the hustle and bustle and stress that it can bring, I hope all of you remember this story... and enjoy every moment big and small.