I'm in my happy place right now. My son arrived last night to spend the holiday weekend with us. His girlfriend will bring in Christmas with her parents in New Jersey, while our daughter's boyfriend will spend the holiday with his large extended clan upstate, so I know their families are happy too. Our daughter will come over on Christmas Eve and sleep in her old room and wake up with us on Christmas morning. She spent last weekend with her boyfriend's family at their annual cookie baking party. And my son will spend Christmas Eve with his girlfriend's family but return to us that evening. That means the four of us will awaken and open presents together on Christmas morning for another year. And there's a sweet bonus: My darling niece, who usually travels home to Jamaica at Christmas, will be in New York this year, as she's on call for her residency. She and her boyfriend will join us for Christmas dinner, after having Christmas breakfast with his family. These in law negotiations will only get trickier from here.
I spent all day yesterday wrapping gifts and now our dining table is covered with presents, a good portion of them for people who won't wake up here on Christmas morning. Deliveries will be made. I'm always surprised at how many presents end up under the tree, even though I try not to be extravagant. I confess that this year, I wanted to give my husband everything, even things he doesn't yet know he wants. I'm so deeply grateful he survived his medical crisis and is now probably healthier than he has been in years. He returned to work at the museum this week. The idea was for him to ease back into the routine over the holidays when things are slow. He'd worried that after being out for so long he'd no longer be needed, everyone would have already picked up the slack, but he discovered he's wrong. People are soooo grateful he's back—as I knew they would be.
He took traditional West Indian fruitcake miniatures for the two women in HR who so kindly took care of his disability and insurance paperwork while he was ill. He thanked them for making things so much easier on his wife, which made them laugh. I was the one who was in frequent contact with them, working through issues as they arose. These women were indeed wonderful.
My husband hit the gym early this morning, the first time outside of his cardiac rehab class, which he does two days a week. At rehab, he does all the cardio machines and then weights, but every member of the class wears a monitor, and a nurse sits at the main console following everyone's blood pressure and heart rate as they work out. My husband is a star pupil. He's competitive like that, but the therapists make sure he doesn't push himself too far. So this morning at the gym, accompanied by our son the EMT, he mimicked his workout at cardiac rehab, ten minutes on each of five cardio machines, then weights. "I didn't worry about anything," he said when he came back upstairs, "because my son was with me." Our son observed that his dad now seems fitter than before his surgery.
When not in the gym, or picking up poinsettias to help his dad decorate the church, or shopping for last minute gifts (so happy my
shopping's done), our boy can be found in his usual position, shirtless on the couch, wrapped in the blanket his grandmother gave him when he was still in high school, catching up on sleep, watching football with his dad, or glued to his phone.