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It is this time of year that is hurting the most. Thus, I find myself burying my feelings as much as possible. Noah LOVED Christmas. He would be seven by now and in the past couple of years or so we had the joy and pleasure to witness his realization of the magic of the season. This is such a holiday for kids! The carols, reindeer, Rudolph, decorating the tree, baking cookies, visiting and writing to Santa, counting the days, all the holiday movies and cartoons on TV. Shopping! Even the bite of crisp air in the mornings seemed to have magic in it: the steam from our breath as we got in the car for the trip to school.

And now, without the innocence of childhood all around me every day it all seems to have evaporated like that fat man up the chimney. Last year, as Jason and I planned and packed which ornaments and decorations should go with who, we knew that this Christmas would be different: my mother would be gone (she passed away peacefully three days after Christmas last year), Jason and I would probably be divorced and there would be adjustments and allowances to make, given those changes. How little we knew, then, how different this year would be. Hollow. Meaningless. I cringe at anything to do with the holidays: commercials, lights, carols, cartoons. It all just literally makes me sick and I just want it all to be over.

Noah loved Christmas, though. Every year, he would watch Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer at least daily. When the snowman in the story, afraid of the abominable snowman, hides behind his umbrella, so did Noah:

I’m sorry for the poor quality of this photo. I was laughing so hard, I could hardly take the snapshot with my phone.

Another of my favorites of Noah from last year was when he realized that his long underwear and pajama shirt were both red. Just like Santa. So Noah got some toilet paper, made a beard and proclaimed “Look Mom! I’m Santa!!”

How hilarious is that? He was such a funny little man. His excitement for Christmas (and Hanukkah!) was just infectious and he made me laugh every day no matter the time of year.

Look at that proud little face? How can you not smile?

Not to mention his multiple letters to Santa. Some of them made it to the North Pole and some did not, but he just loved writing and drawing so much that once he got started he just couldn’t stop.

Here is one of my favorites:

He showed this to me (the cars are meant to be Lightning McQueen and Mater) and of course I told him I thought it was wonderful. He was discouraged with himself, though, and said “Why did I put that I want A cars? That doesn’t make any sense” That’s my boy. Grammar is important. Even though I reassured him that it was perfectly fine and that Santa would of course know what he meant, this one did not make the final cut to actually be sent to Santa at the North Pole.

For school, he had to draw / write something about what holiday he celebrates:

I sure do love that kid. He always made me smile. And when I think of these memories, I still smile, it’s just not the pure mommy-joy that I used to feel. Now it’s accompanied by heartbreak. He was such a good artist and we used to love coloring together and making art of all kinds.

In fact, I think I will create another page here on this little blog dedicated just to Noah’s art. Please check it out. He drew the most amazing pictures of cats.

Somehow in writing this post, I have managed to cheer myself up a little. I’ll take it.