These days in Haiti, I'd also like to think that I am on the home stretch...
*Breaking out in song* I'll be home for Christmas!.... you can plan on me.... please have snow and mistletoe and presents under the tree......!
In ALMOST one month from now, weather permitting, I will fly back to Buffalo for two weeks, and I can hardly wait!
The Christmas bug has caught me.
This Friday the kids and I are breaking out the decorations to 'winterize' our classroom, and it's all I can do to hold myself off until then. Rachel and I have been trying to keep each other accountable in not getting too carried away with Christmas decor and music until November 20th, but I admit, I have been sneaking around in the rubbermaid bin full of Christmas trinkets that my mom sent this past summer, and I don't want to point fingers, but I believe it was Rachel that I heard this morning singing 'Jingle Bells' on her way down the stairs. :)
Indeed, the Christmas countdown is on.
It's kind of a strange feeling... I want to be here.
I know that this is where I need to be right now. Sometimes it's the simplest of things that makes my heart swell with comfort. The Loulous cuddled up to me as I read them a story on a hot Wednesday afternoon. Making Tang and painting toenails with my junior girls on Friday nights. Listening to Bridgely and Riley chatter about their math problems. Doing science experiments with Grayden and Sammy. Looking forward to Haitian food leftovers for lunch. Waking up to bongo jazz (palette name of my wall colour) every morning...
And yet, there is a joy that springs up from me when I let my mind wander to the end of December. Reunions and parties and one-on-ones and congregational carols.
Recently I've also been growing weary from recognizing my loved ones as a green light on the computer screen. I miss faces. I miss voices. I miss the warmth of a hug and the smell of supper around the island. I miss picking up the telephone and talking for as long as I want. I miss coffee runs on Sunday afternoon. I miss clothing store change rooms. I even think I'm starting to miss the 6 o'clock news... Yes dad, I said it.
Last night I was browsing through some pictures of my 2009 summer. Pictures of weddings and road trips and family potlucks. If I let myself, I can actually feel like I am back in the moment... Hear the screen door sliding onto the back patio, feel the bob of Holden's head as he balances on my lap, feel the family car slow as we pass Marshalls, taste the fresh-cut fries at Sauble Beach, listen to the laughter and cheers of a reception performance of 'Good Time'.
It's all so fresh in my mind, and yet it feels like it's been ages... Far longer than the calendar displays.
Just yesterday, my cousin Betsy gave birth to a beautiful little baby boy. Zachary Michael is a hunk of preciousness. Seeing his face lit up on my computer is such a tease. I wish I could stretch my hands through the screen and cuddle him. Home time can't come fast enough.
But in the meantime, we wait and anticipate...
The kids and I have started a Christmas countdown, crossing off a number at the end of each morning, and it won't be long now until we'll blast the Christmas carols and cut out snowflakes and make stockings and create snowmen out of cotton. With each day getting closer, I can almost taste the homemade Christmas baking and feel the warmth from the fireplace.
It's November 18th. Everyday is another day closer... I think it's safe to say that I'm on the homestretch.
And just for the record, Joy... I'll be going straight to bed when I get home! ;)