On Christmas Eve we pulled Gus and Arlo's mattresses on to Sena's bedroom floor, and eventually, after dozens of trips to the bathroom, they slept together, waiting for the arrival of saint they still want believe to be real even after coming to the conclusion that he probably isn't. In the morning, they waited again, this time for the arrival of my parents who wanted to watch as they opened stockings and gifts.
The gifts were dominated by books, blocks, building kits, and dinosaurs. And I hope that their wishes, humble as they were, came true.
Later, we drove across town to my parents' house, and I opened gifts with my siblings, and we ate puffs and scrapple in a house shrouded by fog on disconcertingly warm Christmas day.
I spent the afternoon cooking with my mom: short ribs, roasted Brussel sprouts, rainbow carrots, pearl onions, seedy bread, and mashed potatoes. At six we sat down with my grandfather to give thanks and to fill our bellies.
We had hoped to experience the Christmas full moon, but the fog had other plans, and so the night ended relatively early. I feel asleep exhausted to my core, lamenting another Yuletide seemingly over before it began. Sad to see it go, despite dreading its appearance on the calendar every single year.
My ninety-one year old granddad with his five earthside greatgrands, and one who is still tucked safely inside my sister Claire, ready to join the herd next year. Another fine example of Arlo giving up.