Strange how conditioned we are to create patterns and routines, to transform doing to repeating, rather than experiencing or living. Between the rigors of work, inconsistencies of schedules for parties and open houses, and technical hurdles, I’ve not been writing. I could, but I let myself slip into this step 1, step 2, step 3 and repeat sort of monotony.


Finley is singing, literally if she is awake she is either singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star or the Alphabet Song. She is the echo of every child that has gone before her, suspended for this brief moment in slurred words, skipped letters and uninhibited and tireless repetition. Don’t get me wrong, the way she does it, the curve of her jawline as she lifts her head to sing louder and the way she sets one foot in front of the other while cocking her head, these are pure Fin.

I am more aware today, as I hoss myself out of the unforgivable morass of apathy, that tomorrow, or soon thereafter, this will be over. My third daughter, my only Fin, my final performance of this chapter. Twinkle Twinkle into ABCs into “I wuh-ya mommy.” It is the tattered page I’ll turn to years ahead when she no longer wakes to sing to me.

I am listening, and knowing that I will not always remember unguided, I am writing. I am chronicling these moments of Christmas magic.


I realize unforgivable seems a harsh word, but here it is, whether it’s lifting another spoonful of food you know you shouldn’t be eating, taking another monstrous drag off the cigarette you swore you wouldn’t smoke, or uttering aloud the criticism of your spouse you swore you’d keep quiet, at some point it is indeed unforgivable.

Happiness is a choice is more than a line on a tshirt. It’s just this one life we get. There isn’t a day in it that ever gets experienced in exactly the same way. We must remember to do what we hope, to stay true to aiming for the life that we want, the love, the memories whatever it is.

It is our choice.

It is our price to pay if we don’t.

Who is trying to sing to you right now?

Whose arms did you wiggle out of to do the dishes?

Go listen, kiss and live.

It’s just this one time, make it count.