This Close To Christmas

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It has become a routine already,
how, at around this time of the year I find myself in this little coffee shop at the airport, waiting for my flight to be called. As usual I am indecently early. I like to sit around and wait. I hate to be rushed—for plane trips and through life in general.

The holidays are upon us again, and this year I have a new baby to show for it. How ironic. I start off having children late in life, (31, if anyone must know), and then almost as though to make up for it, I have two boys one after the other. Jeremy is 2; Jethro is now 4 months old.

It is to them that I am coming home now, two boys who alternately delight and terrify me with their possibilities. Before I had children I was fearless, I did not fear dying, embarrassment, even obsolescence. Now at every turn I feel the weight of responsibility prodding me to be more sensible, more giving, more accountable. It’s a drag sometimes. But in the same breath I must admit my boys are worth all this.

You know that reckless, ardent notion of dying for someone? Well for my boys I can do that, twice over if possible without any qualm, with no regrets whatsoever. And even as I say this I pray that I won’t have to. It’s strange how having kids makes you by turns sentimental and superstitious. Suddenly the universe is randomized; and fervently, you hope the chips always fall in your favor.

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