I seem to be waxing reminiscent lately. Today, I babysat for a little girl for a few hours while her mother was at work, something I haven't done in a really long time, at least not since high school. Kids don't seem to like me, or at least they don't go crazy happy when they see me like they do for my younger sister.
As I was chasing 18-month-old Taybree around her house and playing with light-up toys, little cardboard books, and Cheerios, I felt a little sad. My youngest brother is 14 now and taller and bigger than I am. He is no longer a little toddler with gaps in his teeth and an infectious giggle that makes you want to tickle him. I can't buy him little stuffed animal Elmos anymore; all he wants for Christmas are video games and Legos to build a bigger and better Batmobile.
And speaking of Christmas, it is never quite the same when you find out that Santa Claus isn't real and that it's all a big hoax that involves your parents. I was, sadly, eleven when I found out from my classmates that the man in the big red suit didn't really exist. I suppose my parents wanted to keep their first little girl in the dark for as long as possible. On the other hand, little Reggie found out pretty early that there was no Santa, and I think since then my parents have pretty much given up on still creating the magic of Christmas.
Don't get me wrong. My mom makes a yummy Christmas morning breakfast, and we always get presents and draw closer as a family. But the past few years, we haven't even had a Christmas tree until about a week before Christmas, and this year, we only have the tiny fake one that I brought home from my college apartment.
This is partly because my parents have always gotten a real Christmas tree, and with both of them working now and doing everything else, they haven't had time to find one. But I think it is also partly because we're all grown up now and it's just not the same with no little kids get so excited about Christmas that they get up at 3 a.m.
I know that Christmas is about Christ, and I know that everyone gets older and people are never going to stay the same, but for once, I'd like to feel like a little kid at Christmastime again, so happy and excited to play Mary and hold the baby doll Jesus and to hang up my stocking on Christmas Eve and to leave Christmas cookies for Santa.
Yet tomorrow, I'm going to play with that sweet little girl again and make her face light up when I read books to her and chase her around the Christmas tree. At least that way, in just a teeny tiny way, I can feel like I'm an excited little girl again.