For those of you who are loyal East County Observer readers, this page may have just given you déjà vu.
One year ago, on Christmas Day 2008, we published a photo of my son, Lyric, on his first visit to Santa. In it, Santa flashed his holly-jolly pearly whites for the camera, while Lyric, then 8 months old, furrowed his brow and let out the most pitiful plea I had ever heard.
Oh yes. Another year, and another traumatic visit to Santa Claus.
I was tempted to run the exact same column again this year. After all, it was the same mall, same Santa, same pained expression and an equally nerdy Christmas sweater vest. But that would shortchange the damage my wife, Jess, and I are inflicting onto our poor son.
Speaking of damage: Does anyone know when kids start remembering things? Should we go for the hat trick next year, or could that result in possible future psychological problems?
I have to admit, these photos are priceless. And selfishly, I hope we get a few more before Lyric actually realizes that Santa is one of the good guys.
On a sentimental note …
As I write this, my cell phone and car keys are sitting just inches from the keyboard should I need to make a quick exit.
Any day now, Jess and I are expecting our second child — a girl this time. In fact, by the time you read this, our daughter may be with us to celebrate her first Christmas.
And after 20 months with our son, I cannot imagine a better Christmas present. Watching Lyric grow and change absolutely has been the most amazing and rewarding experience of my life. We are blessed to be able to see that all again with a new baby girl.
This feeling — on the precipice of having two children — is entirely different than what I experienced with Lyric. Before he was born, everything hid behind a dense fog of question marks. Back then, we knew nothing about taking care of a child. In fact, the first diaper I ever changed was his in the hospital, and if I didn’t have a nurse directing me, I probably would have put it on backward.
This time, Jess and I look into our future knowing all the mechanics an infant requires. We know we can handle the sleepless nights, the crying and the crazy feeding schedule. In that regard, we feel prepared and, dare I say, ready.
But for those of you with more than one child: How do you do it with two? How do you make the older one still feel special? How do you make sure you’re not playing favorites?
It’s ironic, really. We wanted a second child because we wanted Lyric to have a sibling, but his life will be the one turned most upside down once she arrives.
I suppose that will be the new challenge Jess and I will figure out this time around. What a beautiful test …
My Christmas wish to you
I hope your heart is as full as mine at this moment. If you have kids, remember what Christmas meant to you when you were young and do your best to recreate that magic for them. With Lyric finally old enough to have and show his opinions (sigh), I know there is no better joy in the world than that of your child. If you’re headed out of town, please travel safe and cherish the time you’re spending with loved ones.
From all of us at The East County Observer: Merry Christmas and thank you for allowing us to be part of your lives.