Archive for December, 2010

Christmas Past and Present

When they were very small
I slept on the couch to guard the tree
And two or three times
Every night, I chased little boys
Back upstairs to bed

When they were very small
We couldn’t bring the presents down
Until after they were asleep
Because the sight of all that loot
Made getting them to sleep an impossible dream

When they were very small
The presents spilled out from under the tree
And filled the entire living room
With Disney movies and cars and books
And thousands of Legos

When they were very small
By six in the morning, you could hear them
Telling each other to be quiet
Watching the red lights of their digital clocks
Count down to the appointed hour of seven a.m.

And now, they are not so small
All but one taller than I am
They are soundly asleep upstairs
Not one of them tried to raid the tree early
And I sleep on the couch for my own nostalgia’s sake

Now, they are not so small
And the presents are more expensive but more compact
And they do not spill so far into the living rooms
Music and iThings and still some Legos
And they buy presents for each other too

Now, they are not so small
But Zak’s penguins still stand guard in the windows
And there are still Sesame Street ornaments
For us to pretend to fight over
Even though we know Meghan will win

Now, they are not so small
And from six o’clock til nine
Is a long time to wait
For their oldest sister
Who misses when they were very small



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