That night in a stable Our saviour was born
On the last Christmas, The last Christmas,
-Six Pence None the Richer
A year ago I was in my kitchen, trying to get ready dinner on the table when I heard this song for the first time. It stopped me in my tracks and gave me goose bumps. I stood there, trying not to cry, while my 7 month old babies rolled around on my living room floor. I couldn’t help but long for the days when I felt them inside my skin.
The Christmas before I was carrying twins, but I didn’t know until February. I missed the chance to enjoy this feeling of two beautiful babies at Christmas. I ignored the signs that there was more than one and focused on the single baby I insisted was there. I look back at that Christmas and it feels distant. I can’t help but feel like I missed out on something special.
I have a tendancy to wish away whatever is happening right now. I want to rush to a time that is easier, a time when things are smooth and confortable and not so rocky. With 3 small children it’s easy to focus on what we don’t have, what we can’t do. I daydream about the days to come, when they are a little more independant. The every day responsibilities weigh me down and I look forward to an easier time.
This song brings me back to the moment I’m in now. This is the last Christmas, the very last Christmas I will ever have with my four year old son and his 19 month old sisters. I will never get this Christmas back. And even though we may not make it to a Christmas play or through the Christmas Eve service, I don’t want to wish this Christmas away.
So I sit back and I watch them play. I try to memorize the way they move, their reaction to the Christmas tunes constantly playing in our house. We talk about Jesus and Santa and reindeer. I watch their eyes light up when the see Christmas light and trees. I breathe in their joy and excitment. I focus on the things they seem to care about, particularly my son, who is enjoying this Chrismas more than any before. And I try not to loose that feeling that this is the last one I have with them exactly like this.
Wherever you are, whatever stage your in right now, take a moment to really breathe it in. If you’re expecting your twins or knee deep in double the diapers, or chasing toddlers or keeping track of preschool activities, take a minute to let it sink in. Look at your children. Memorize every dimple and bump. Commit this Christmas to memory, it’s the last one you have exactly like they are right now. It can be so much harder with two, but it’s so much more rewarding. Time moves quickly. Before you know it we will be putting together a Christmas for 2012. Don’t let this one slip away before you have a chance to really enjoy it.
You can listen to the song here