1.) The new scanners at Seattle Airport were not being used. Once I got through security, I saw Santa Claus arrive on a motorized cart and say hi to a child who had just gone through security. Then, two elves came up in another cart.
While waiting for my flight, a group of carolers–two men, two women–dressed in Victorian garb, sang Christmas carols in harmony. Gotta love Seattle.
2.) Saw a Christmas concert with choirs from numerous churches perform. Went with my sister. She had wanted to go every year, but hadn’t been able to. Concert was free, though (of course) they accepted donations.
3.) Saw my nieces in their Christmas pageant. One was an angel, the other was a lamb. So cute! Gave me big smiles as they walked past, and sometimes big smiles from the front. After they got out of their costumes, dove right for me to give me hugs. Also got to see all their stuff at their house, and numerous surprise hugs throughout the day. They can both read simple words now, and read me several of their books from school.
That night, my brother and his girlfriend came home–two nights early–as a surprise.
4.) My dad always talked about fixing up the cellar when my siblings and I were children. Now, approaching retirement, he has. He told me the lesson is to never give up on your dreams.
5.) Met Zhu Zhu Pet babies “Buttercheeks” and “Snicklefritz.” My mom and I laughing so hard we were crying, when one of my nieces explained that you can’t shorten “Snicklefritz” to “Snickle,” since his full name is Snicklefritz.
6.) One of my friends cooked one of my best friends and me dinner. Unfortunately, her husband had to pull us out of their steep icy driveway using rope. Steep driveway+ice=fun times 😉
7.) Loved seeing my nieces’ faces as they opened their presents, especially when they both opened gifts that they really REALLY wanted. Never seen them so excited before.
8.) Got to eat at a Japanese restaurant with my mom, see The King’s Speech with a friend, and hang out with my sister and her family.
9.) Saw a UConn women’s basketball game with my dad, the first game since the streak was broken. Villanova didn’t stand a chance.
For the first time, going home for me felt like a visit, rather than a return. And every time I go home, my parents look older. If life were represented by a day, they are preparing for sunset, my siblings and I are living under the afternoon sun, and my nieces are enjoying the sunrise. My parents will soon exit the stage, to enjoy life from the wings. While my brother and sister perform onstage, I’m still trying on costumes in the dressing room, and my nieces are watching from the audience, waiting for their chance to perform.
But soon, soon, I will find a costume that fits, and then the stage shall be mine.