I imagine that Christmas can be a bit confusing to an eight-month-old baby. People start singing overly catchy songs about bells and partridges and stars and stuff, and there are twinkly lights everywhere, even on trees and bushes, and there's this big fat man with a white beard and a loud fuzzy red suit shouting "Ho ho ho." I mean, you can just see William wondering, "What's THAT all about?"
But if William could talk, I bet he'd say that Christmas means two things: silly hats and wrapping paper.
We had a lovely Christmas trip to Nashville. Well, I say "lovely," but I have to admit that we did seem to spread mayhem in our wake. As loyal readers of this blog know, William had a rather colorful bout of gastroenteritis a couple weeks ago, and well, it seems that some spores might have hijacked a ride on some of his stuff and stowed away to Nashville. David joked that "Typhoid William" brought the plague with him to Nashville. Poor Aaron, then Diane, fell victim to that fun little virus. And apparently Mark was in the throes of it when we left. Nothing says Christmas and holiday fun like puking 'round the clock and gingerly sipping Gatorade. God, I still feel guilty about that.
But other than that...it was great! We attended a couple of parties, visited David's new office-to-be (gorgeous) and visited with my brother, John. David and I cruised around a few neighborhoods, dreaming of our future house and wishing that we could afford this house in that neighborhood or that house in this neighborhood. My parents drove up after Christmas, and while I didn't get to spend nearly enough time with them, at least I got to see them, and they got to see William. William changes every day, and I just hated the thought of them not getting to see him learning to wave or pulling up to standing, with my help.
The Wyckoffs were so lovely to be so engaged with William, too, even when they weren't feeling well. And when Aaron and Diane weren't sick, they got right down on the floor with William and played with him and his toys. Diane held him on her lap so that William could "play" the piano. And Uncle Mark taught him how to make monkey noises--that was an especially big hit. William began screeching loudly, and David speculated that it was his attempt to make the monkey noises, too. John came over to hang out and brought William a stuffed puppy that sings and counts and does all sorts of stuff, and William seemed very enamored with it. And of course, William had a stocking full of presents to explore on Christmas morning...which we rushed through so we could put him down for his nap.
It was so much fun to see William learning how to tear wrapping paper from a present, or gaze up at the lights on the Christmas tree. He's so curious about everything, so observant. He stretches his little chubby hands out to touch things, and I just want to drink in the expression on his face as he fingers an ornament on the tree or grabs for the kitty's tail. It sounds so cliched to describe it as "wonder," but that's really what it is. These days won't last forever, so I'm glad that everyone was willing to risk being sick to spend a little time with William on his first Christmas.
Unfortunately, we all seemed to get sick during the trip. William and David and I all have a cold, and William and I have been doing a lot of coughing the last few days. For that reason, we decided to curtail some of our social activities the last few days. That means that we didn't get to visit with some of my friends. But we're coming back. That was the beauty of this particular holiday trip to Nashville: we're coming back and soon! Usually, I develop a sense of melancholy as our airplane lifts off, but not this time. We're returning in March to find a house, and March is just around the corner.