If ever there was such a thing as a perfect Christmas, this one was it. Everyone is healthy and alive and it was one of the most beautiful Christmases I believe I have ever had.
I had stayed up until three cooking my country ham (btw, I've had better...I think I cooked it too long), but anyway, I stayed up until three cooking my country ham so I think that's why I slept until 9:30. What was really weird about today was that here we are smack in the middle (or I guess it's the beginning, isn't it?) of winter and it was warm outside...so warm, I had all the windows open on the east side of the condo. The sun was pouring in...it was surreal and I couldn't help but to imagine this must be what it's like for people in Florida at Christmastime.
So, the sun is pouring in and it's warm and beautiful and Melissa comes down from upstairs saying she's going to get her brother like they were kids again. We tried the opening presents at night thing last year and it was horrible, so they might be 30 and 25, but the Thompson tradition of opening presents is set in stone no matter how old everyone is.
What really made this a strange Christmas, though, is that we had invited Melissa's dad (my ex) to have Christmas dinner with us.
Oh, I'm over all that baggage and I think he's somewhat over it, so I figured everything would turn out fine and, you know, it turned out better than I expected.
So Melissa went to get Ryan and we opened presents and Ryan took his new hip boots and he and Melissa went out to the dock and found oysters, scallops and one baby mussel. Isn't that the neatest thing? There weren't many but it was so nice out, they really enjoyed it.
They came back in and by that time, the ex rolls in and at first I thought he looked a little uncomfortable (first time eating dinner with the kids and I in about 13 years I think), but once he got in the living room and saw the new pool table, he started playing pool with Ryan and things just went natural after that.
The feast included turkey, country ham, crabcakes, macaroni, corn, baked corn, baked yams with marshmallows on top (ymmm), stuffed mushrooms (which my daughter made...I don't like mushrooms so I have no idea how they turned out but they devoured them), macaroni and cheese and asparagus. De-li-cious.
Dinner conversation was not stiff like I thought it would be and laughter filled the room. I wouldn't go as far as saying it was like old times because it was nothing like old times..it was like...new times. The barrier I think has finally come down.
He thanked me for dinner and I told him we'd do it again.
If I ever could envision the perfect Christmas, I don't know if I would quite envision sitting at the table with my ex, but it was really weird..he was like the person I wanted him to be but he never knew how back then. If that makes any sense at all and it's a long story.
After he and Ryan left and Melissa headed over to a friend's house, I sat down on the couch and if you could just imagine the inner peace I felt. I looked around me and I knew it wasn't so much the material things at all, but a feeling of complete inner peace. If only all the days of the year could be spent just like this one.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and remember to give your kids a special hug tonight. One of my friends lost her son three days before Christmas. Please put her in your prayers and be thankful your family is healthy and could gather around the Christmas tree today.
Merry Christmas everyone and I'll have pictures tomorrow.