The "Write" Before Christmas


I'm joining Bigger Picture Blogs in a journey of pre-holiday inspiration and personal creative release. Because "Sometimes as adults, we forget to take the time to see the joy, the magic and the wonder of the season." If you enjoy writing, photography, crafting, baking, name it, check out The 'Write' Before Christmas and link up!

Today's prompt -- "Underneath the Mistletoe Last Night" 

And my quickwrite...
Over the past few months, they talked to each other less and less. Communication had become rote, uninteresting. Besides that heated conversation about the unexpected purchase she made at Macy's, the only things they discussed were plans for the weekend and who should put the kids to bed. Sometimes the weather. Jamie wasn't exactly sure what had changed. She lived in a fog world most days.

A new baby will do that to you.

And so little Benji would be one month old in a few days...just three days before Christmas. December 22. What a gift. A million dirty diapers and no sleep on the most festive day of the year. Everyone calling to give their congratulations, with laughter and cheer ringing through the phone lines. They could hear a baby screaming in the background as I mouthed the words "thank you" and "you too". We didn't put up a tree this year. No gingersnap cookies. No pies. The only gifts were for our 18-month-old daughter, Naomi. A little tea set. A new doll. I wrapped them and set them in the middle of the table, using them and the Macy's ribbon as our centerpiece. Because it's Christmas.

Mike usually returned home from work late, looking weary and bent over. Not prepared for the poopy baby I pressed into his arms, or the bouncing toddler expecting attention. Our eyes met briefly, then dropped to the floor. He sighed, brushing past Naomi toward the changing table. "Where are the wipes?" he yelled. He'd do his duty, then escape to the bedroom. She couldn't respond, her eyes welled with tears, her heart ached to find a way to love him. But she felt so empty and tired. And angry. Why couldn't he acknowledge how hard she was working? Why didn't he ever give encouragement or speak words of sympathy?

"Are you going to put Naomi to bed?" Yes. "Sure was cold today, wasn't it?" Yes.

I swaddled Benji, lying him in the bassinet. Prepared to wake up again in two or three hours, I made sure the diapers, wipes and extra pacifiers were handy. I lay next to my husband, breathing silently. I heard him whisper, "good night". Sure. You might have a good night.

And then he rolled over. Looking deep into my eyes, he said, "You're a good mother. {pause} And I think we need some mistletoe for Christmas. It's been too long."

I stare. I wonder if he thinks that will fix everything. But I imagine it would be a good start.