I admit I was letting the holidays get to me.
No matter what I did, I wasn't getting the celebration right. Yes, I bought the kids Captain America outfits in August, and I bought a backup turkey for Thanksgiving, and mailed out my holiday cards the night before Black Friday, but I was feeling the pressure to celebrate faster, harder and with more money. Before I could drink my Saint Patrick's Day beer, I was worrying about the Easter eggs. And in multi-cultural San Francisco, I barely got the Hanukah candles lit before I blew them out for the solstice, re-lit them for Kwanzaa, just in time to shout, "Gung Hay Fat Choy!"
I felt so much pressure to feel merry that I wasn't feeling content.
One day last week, I was up at five to shop for a biker garden gnome for a lesbian couple I know, rushed to get the Christmas village out of the basement, the stockings hung with care, then more shopping. I got home late, and there was my eight year old, Zane.
He was in his footed pajamas kneeling on the floor, furiously concentrating on what he was drawing. "Wait! Don't come in yet, Dad!" he cried. "One more minute." I waited on the porch, my foot tapping the entire time. Zane flung open the door, holding a sign, on which he had drawn 15 robots, breathing fire, shooting lasers and keeping the peace in general.