Baby Boys and Silent Night

It’s Ziggy’s birthday!!! I wrote this earlier today when Zig’s was at school, but I didn’t have pictures to post so I waited. I just put the little… sweetheart…. to bed, wayyyy too late on a birthday school night, and the mini-gremlin’s kicks and flails and begs for “daddy” had me second guessing everything nice I’m about to say.
And then I watched him sound asleep for five minutes, and now I feel honest again. 🙂

This kid turned four today, and he is seriously, THE BEST.
Five years ago, when I found out we were having a boy, I had all these visions in my head of what he would be. He would be wild, rambunctious, impulsive, thrill-seeking… an adrenaline junkie. He would be a tad thoughtless, oblivious, and in general he would have dirty fingernails (after-all, @campsmashbox ). Ziggy is none of these things. He is everything I didn’t dream up. I could not have, in my wildest imagination, envisioned a little human boy with a heart as pure, as thoughtful, as other-focused, and as aware of all that is good and beautiful, as this kid.

It is not uncommon for Ziggy to wake up as the sun is rising (while he has many strengths, sleep is not one), pause at the window, and say in his yet toddleresque and awestruck voice, “Mommmmmmaaa. Isn’t the world beaut-i-ful?” He says this about the stars when the moon’s not out, and the moon when the stars aren’t out. He says this when the sun is shining and when the snow is falling. He notices his sister’s new dress, my painted nails, and the new lights when they go up on the Woodbridge. . “Awe,” he’ll say to Ana often, without any prompting whatsoever, “you look soooo fancesome.” It’s a Ziggy word… fancy + handsome… and I will love it forever.

For his birthday, Ziggy asked for “the present Ana wants, because she’s been asking and asking for it.” I kid you not. He wanted nothing for his birthday, just “the present for Ana.” Ziggy. You. are. GOLD.

I have a horrific memory. I don’t remember bringing Ziggy home from the hospital. What I do remember, is Christmas Eve, one week later. At that time we lived in our other #tinyhouse – the one that also happened to be a church.
I didn’t go to Christmas Eve service that year because, one-week-old. I was home alone with Ziggy and I remember looking down at our sleeping baby boy, the only light in the room from the choir of Christmas trees just outside our frosty window. I remember soaking in the peacefulness of Ziggy’s soft breath.

As the Christmas Eve church service (which I could vaguely distinguish through our wall) neared an end, the amplified crescendo of hundreds of peace-filled voices poured into our blessed home. They sang together. Silent Night. It was an offering to the heavens. It was like Zig and I were all alone, and yet surrounded by a thousand angels.
I remember thinking of Mary… how she must have felt cradling her Prince of Peace in that stable so many years ago.

That Christmas Eve was one of the more profound experiences of my life. Miscarriage after miscarriage had left me feeling hopeless time and time again. And here I was, with the ultimate Christmas gift of a newborn son on a Silent and Holy Night. This memory will forever shape who and what Ziggy means to me.

Little Zig-man, happy birthday. You are a true and precious light. You have the soul of a poet. You are a treasure beyond treasures. Keep shining, little buddy. The world needs more hearts like yours.

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It’ll Be Fun, They Said

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I love me some holiday traditions, and cutting down our own Christmas tree is one of my favs.

What you don’t see in this picture are Harley’s tears cuz her hands were cold, and Ana’s tears cuz her feet were wet, and Ziggy’s tears cuz the snow was deep, and my super sweet mom-friend Emily who ignored her own kids tears to come to my hot mess rescue (I guess I mean cold mess – is that a thing?) because sometimes (okay, all-the-times) three little humans feels like a freakin’ lot to manage. And dad was too busy to help with the tears cuz he was off doing man things like sawing down a dang tree.

Nevertheless. Traditions are awesome, and the tears all dried (after they froze), and hot chocolate at the end of a harrowing journey in the woods has a way of making the world feel right and good again.

Oh, and our 12 foot Charlie Brown tree is 👌. (Well it was 12 feet… until we realized the diameter of a 12 foot tree is a little… imposing… on a 900 sq ft home. So then I took scissors to the bottom branches to allow access to our hallway… and then it resembled more of a diamond shape than a cone… so then we wacked off the bottom… and now we’re left with an 8 foot tree. And our 8 foot Charlie Brown tree is 👌.)

But the other thing that’s 👌 is that I have a horrible memory. So when the annual tree cutting extravaganza presents itself as a “fun” holiday option again next winter, I will happily oblige. In case you didn’t catch it, I’m a sucker for a good family tradition.

What are your fav holiday traditions?

XO,

Cold Kara

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