Today is still Christmas to me because my mother just arrived from the East coast. I have been excited about this since oh, September! Christmas has never been my favorite holiday, that space has been reserved for 4th of July and Thanksgiving for a long time. However, my mother and my brother have loved Christmas for as long as I can remember. My brother loved any holiday that involved sleeping in dim lights on top of the heating vent. My mother loves the memories of her childhood in the farm house where we all grew up. She was very close with her grandparents and brothers and has wonderful memories of holidays and family on the farm. I think she still loves the cozy blankets of tradition and makes efforts to build traditions with us even in this evolving time of bicostal and multi-continental families. She still gets us LLBean socks and little things like that to carry the tradition through from year to year no matter where we find ourselves.
The Hubbs and I are celebrating our second Christmas together this year and I am spending it working in the ED. It is in fact my first weekend back to work since my injury. I am happy to be back and happy to be surrounded by my ED family as well as being part of a team who are "on watch" for those who need (and those who don't) help over the holiday. I take a great deal of pride in working on holidays. I grew up with my mother as a solo provider Midwife who rarely had a partner or back-up to cover call for those births that just couldn't wait till the presents were opened or the birthday candles were blown out. Because of this we celebrated a lot of modified holidays as a family. As a kid this occasionally bent my nose out of joint, having to wait or postpone festivities. However, as an adult I am really grateful to my mother and father for having raised me that way. I now don't give a hoot one way or another when a holiday or birthday is celebrated. It's not a matter of times or dates for me its a matter of feelings and intentions. As long as there is time set aside from the hustle and bustle to acknowledge whatever the occasion is I don't care. Because of this I happily sign up to work holidays. I feel part of a brotherhood of those who take the torch on the days when others can't or reeeealy don't want to. I like the feeling of being on duty so that others may enjoy time with their families. Its odd maybe but I am lucky to have found a partner who feels the same way. He was off tonight (because one of us had to be there to gather my mom from the airport) but were it not for the special visit he would have been out there on a street corner keeping watch too. I love this about us.
Last Christmas I was working and Hubbs, then still known as Puppy Love to one of my most favorite ED doctors, was also working in the city. It had been a typical Christmas night at the inner city trauma center and we had seen ambulance after ambulance roll through the bay doors and none of them were my sweety. I had finally given up seeing him that night when around 430am the radio crackled to life. Medic 971 was coming in with a trauma. Something about a guy tweeking out eating glass and busting into a condo complex. Odd. Twelve minutes later the stretcher rolled into the department driven by my sweety and moments later the trauma team was standing around us. "Let's get his clothes off", said the trauma surgeon. I reached for my shears and began cutting his pant leg. I looked up and my eyes met his, "Merry Christmas Baby", he said and flashed me one of his winks. "Merry Christmas. I love you" I mouthed back to him. Shmultzy I know, but this is the suckers we are. We love it. We love our work and we love each other.
This year I was certain I did not care about making Christmas at our house. I was waaaay too consumed with school and being pissed off about my broken paw, on top of some interpersonal strain caused by the constellation of pressures surrounding us to give a rip about trees and lights. The Hubbs, smart thing that he is, saw waaaay beyond my final moments of school stress and realized that when the dust settled I was going to want a tree and lights and the whole bit. He shoped and decorated and wrestled with a pine tree. He is a star! The house is so beautiful and the tree is perfect. He has managed to make our second Christmas even better than the first. He picked my mom up tonight from the airport and brought her right to the hospital to say hi. I was so proud of him. He seemed comfortable and genuinely at ease hanging out with my mom. It made me happy. On that note...I will end today's post with the simple thought that sometimes it really IS the littlest things that make you the happiest like a little I love you whispered under the din of a busy trauma room. Other times it is the big things like Christmas trees and twinkly lights and mothers retrieved from the airport.