The older kids ask every single year if we can change it up and get in line oldest to youngest for Christmas morning entrance to see what Santa brought (I call them in one by one.) I laugh and tell them that it will never change. They will always have had more Christmases than their younger siblings.I'm not sure why it matters so much to them, but even more puzzling, why it matters so much for me. It's because how I did it growing up. Perhaps it's me holding onto my childhood. Or their childhood.
Because it happens. Ever so quickly. Painfully quick. That blink of an eye they talk about. You're living it right now, the moments they will lock into their mind as their childhood.
And now I suddenly find myself panicking.
Was it memorable enough?
Was it happy enough?
Was there too much discipline?
Have they learned what they need to survive?
(latke making: a new tradition we started after reading a Hanukkah book about latkes, they're better than most things you'll put in your mouth!)
Do they have good manners?
Are they caring?
But, it dawns on me as I write this.
Those are superfluous questions.
The real question is:
Because that is how being a marvelous human being is truly learned. Not by lectures or lessons. Not through extravagant vacations and costly gifts.
It's the example of those who love them most and best of all.