I've never been one to be sentimental. Just ask my wife. Even around Christmas it's tough to distance myself too far from scrooge-like indifference to lights, trees, wrapping paper, and food.
This year is different. Having a child who is old enough to make a Christmas memory, being in our own home and being close to family all at the same time is causing the built up memories of a lifetime to wash across me. I'm in foreign territory folks.
And it all came to a head this morning in church. I held Evie in my arms during the music, which was mostly traditional carols. In TVC (our church, The Village Chapel) tradition, there were violins, violas, cellos, mandolins, guitars, keyboards and voices to lend a richness to the music. Then, right as we started singing Angels We Have Heard on High, Evie sudenly piped up and said "I know this one" and started singing along.
And I lost it. Yes, I had tears coming down my cheeks as I listened to my little girl sing with gusto the chorus: Gloria, In Excelsis Deo. It was something about holding my girl (though she's getting too heavy to do it very long now), being in church, listening to traditional carols, and hearing her sing for the first time with me that uncovered yet another deep longing I didn't know I had.
It seems that many of my dreams about life and family have laid dormant for so many years that I've forgotten them. Or ignored them. Or trivialized them. But maybe this is what being 49, having a family, and being close to extended family is all about. Reconnecting with dreams you didn't know you had.
Merry Christmas everyone and listen to Angels We Have Heard on High when you get a chance.