If you are behind in your Christmas shopping, haven’t ordered your cards, and couldn’t bake a cookie without a gun to your head, you have come to the right place. In comparison to me, everyone can feel good about their progress. I am in React Mode. If something bites me, I deal with it. Otherwise, I’m spiralling downward to holiday disaster at an ever-increasing speed. Take yesterday. My mother finished her Christmas shopping, boys and puppies got away with who-knows-what, and people sold Second Novels while I searched for an old photograph. I spent hours digging through boxes and drawers while my to-do list waited for me to come to my senses. I stayed on the trail of the elusive picture to my utter and totally unnecessary peril.
It started when the boys unpacked the red and green bins last weekend. They pulled out photos and decorations seen once a year, relics of the past. They talked while they worked and it was clear they were looking back. And I looked back, too. Year by year, all the way back to their births. And I realized that there was a last Christmas when they were all four little boys. And we took a picture of them that year.
I found it. Or at least I found a scan of it.
I have now safely re-scanned it for posterity, or at least until my computer gets upgraded. I will spare you the details of how I feel about this picture and why I had to have two hankies (make that three) to finish writing this post. But in this chaotic season, in this year of birds leaving nests and debut novel launch preparations, it feels good to hold onto things that are not moving. And to be able to put my hands on them.