Having kids makes the holidays fun again.
Christmas is the possible exception, because it never fell into the "not fun" category. If anything, the addition of spiked eggnog upped the ante.
But with the boys, everything is sprinkled with wonder, like powdered sugar on a cookie. Toys magically appear, people smile for no reason, and there are even blow-up Santas riding motorcycles in people's front yards.
Thanksgiving was always okay in my book, but since I've decided I like to cook, the preparing of the meal is one of my favorite things. We'll all gather around the island in my sister-in-law's kitchen, nibbling and talking, letting the conversation meander like a lazy stream, as we chop vegetables or roll out crust. And again, the advent of wine has made this holiday more fun than say...the Thanksgivings of my middle school years. (I'm sure my mother was doing the drinking for both of us those years. Lord knows I would if I had an adolescent girl.)
This Thanksgiving was the first year that Owen was old enough to actually sit and the table and finish the meal. Any meal is improved with Owenisms such as, "Leatherback Sea Turtles save the moon!" (Total disclosure: In all likelihood, that is more like a Diegoism than an original thought...)
Halloween was awesome wrapped up in kick-ass and wicked-cool when I was a kid. When I became too old to trick or treat but not old enough to go to costume parties, it wasn't as swell. Despite the various parties I've attended as an adult (including the Saturday Night Live-themed extravaganza when Paul dressed up as Unfrozen Cave Man Lawyer), nothing compares to the pure delight of trick or treating with the boys. Remember, Owen STILL thanks God for trick-or-treating during his evening prayers. Still.
And, yes (I'm seeing a theme here), the grown-ups enjoy some treats (usually in the form of wine) as well.
Which brings me to today. It's Easter. The boys dressed up and looked cute at church, and then we did the Easter Egg hunt in the front yard. This was truly delightful. When you're an adult, Easter is a religious holiday, which is very meaningful, but just...different. As a parent, though, I get to focus on the miracle of this day, but I also get to do Easter Egg Hunts and help the boys find their baskets. It's a win-win.
Holidays are touchstones; with each successive holiday, I see the passage of time, and how the blessings have multiplied. For Owen's first Easter, he was asleep in his car carrier, maybe a month old. For his second Easter, he hunted for eggs by himself. Then, for his third Easter, he hunted for eggs with his cousin William. And now, he and William once again hunted for eggs, but Joel was watching every step from Paul's arms, waiting for his turn.