It sure has been a while since we last spoke. I know my letters stopped coming in 1988, but I want you to know, you are still a very real part of my Christmas - I just always figured you had enough on your plate what with fulfilling my little brother's unusual requests (rope, plywood and nails…oh, and that Christmas of the bag of rocks…) and keeping up with ever changing technology. I mean, these days, your elves are busy assembling complicated tablets, smartphones and interactive virtual reality games. All I ever really wanted was a doll that didn't have scary eyes.
Anyway, I haven't been keeping my distance because I don't believe in you. Quite the contrary! As a matter of fact - if you would consider doing me the honor - I have a very important request for this Christmas. And…I, in no way, doubt your ability to deliver, but what I'm about to lay out here isn't exactly a friendly-eyed dolly. This request might prove a bit more elusive and might require a bit more time and cooperation from some outside parties.
You see, in just a few very short months, I'm going to become a mommy. (to a person this time - not cats) I'm sure you were already aware since you are in the business of knowing things. The point is…well, Santa…if you could…for my one gift this year, I would like to have the ability to be good at that. Being a mommy, I mean. I know that is a vague and ambiguous gift request, but it really is the one and only thing I want for myself this year.
Now, you may be hearkening back to that one Christmas when I asked for the ability to fly….I can see how that one might have been outside your gifting scope. But, the way I see it, you have a pretty good handle on the whole parenting thing. After all, a world full of children looks at you as the grandest and most generous of patriarchs, so from where I stand, this minimal gift list is totally doable for you. But, just to make things a bit easier, allow me to elaborate.
My little fella is going to come with his own unique batch of talents, character traits, strengths and challenges. The angels have already adorned him with his collection of bit and pieces - some that I can potentially predict but most of which will come as a total surprise to me and to his daddy. He may have my nose and his daddy's confidence. Conversely, he may have his daddy's mouth and my strength of focus. Whatever he brings to the table, I need to be ready to flex my adaptability muscles…more than I ever have before. He might like soccer. I know next to nothing about soccer. Heaven help me if he loves golf. He may cry on his first day of preschool…or worse…he may run into the fray with nary a backward glance at his mother who will be crumbling inside.
In any scenario…at any moment…whether small or critical…I need your help, Santa, to be both an oak and a river all at once. I need to learn to love all the harder the firmer I stand. I am desperate to understand how to let my tiny boy fight one or two of his own battles when my instinct is going to be to pounce like an angry tigress. What do I do when he comes home with a naughty note from his teacher…or asks me to stop giving him a hug goodbye in the drop-off line? I know there are far worse scenarios, but Santa, those frighten me too much to mention. But, know that I could certainly use an extra dose of fortitude (or 10!) should any of those situations present themselves.
Hopefully, I'm explaining this request clearly enough - I'm happy to itemize if you see fit, but something tells me you get it. Being the best possible mommy I can be is the only thing I want now…and will probably ever want again…so I'm really putting all my eggs in this one basket. I understand that this is a doozy and likely rather overwhelming, so let's not impart the old traditional time frame on it. Christmas is less than three weeks away: how about we spread this thing out over the next…oh….well...the next indefinite number of Christmases?
To put it simply: if you'll keep teaching, I'll keep listening and learning, year after year. That is my promise. And, while I'll be happy to write each year just to check in, you can just keep this letter on file. I can pretty well guarantee it will be forever applicable. Oh…and I'll do my darndest to stay on the "nice" list, although if that tigress does make an appearance….well….cut a momma some slack.
I suppose that will do it, Santa. Baby Teddy and I will put out your cookies and milk (or Irish coffee if you need a little somethin') on Christmas Eve then snuggle into our nest of pillows to listen for your jingle bells.
Merry Christmas, Santa Claus.
Holley (and baby Teddy)
PS - If you DID happen to have any of that magic reindeer feed that sets your velvet-footed fellas aloft lying around…I STILL wouldn't say no….