Saturday, December 28, 2002

Just limping back from my little Christmas 'net break. Our holidays were pretty peaceful; the only ones to melt down were adults, which means that my easily overstimulated boy is starting to learn to give his own self time outs when he needs them. Merry Christmas to that!

Santa was plenty generous to me. I got lots of good books to read, so I can pretend that I'm actually the kind of person who has time to sit down and do that. The tomes under the tree for me -- I'll list them for folks who like to compare reading lists, of whom I am one -- were The Courage to Be Catholic: Crisis, Reform and the Future of the Church by George Weigel; Darwin, His Daughter, and Human Evolution by Randal Keynes; American Studies by Louis Menand; Longitudes & Attitudes: Exploring the World After September 11 by Thomas L. Friedman; and finally, shamefacedly, NOT because I asked for it but because my sister-in-law remembered I once said I had a crush on him as a preteen, Danny Bonaduce's autobiography, Random Acts of Badness: My Story.

Aside from that last one, it's exactly what I wanted. But all those good words weren't the best gift I got this Christmas. My kids gave me something infinitely more wonderful: They got along. They played together nice. They camped out in my daughter's room and played with the matching Barbie minivans their grandmother gave them and were just as friendly as you can imagine. My daughter even told me she'd told her brother she loves him, which is so far from her ordinary attitude as to be miraculous. And I know, it won't last. Four days post Christmas, the peace and unity is already slipping. But oh, it was nice while it lasted, going about my business on Thursday with the two of them happily occupied together, seeing enthusiasm and camaraderie in their relationship rather than hostility and spite. Probably hostility and spite is really a more natural big sister-little bro dynamic than peaceful playing, but Christmas is a time for dreams.

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