If I could have the gift of being able to be anywhere, instantly, this Christmas, I'd ask to be in New England, even if just for a moment. I want to see my niece and nephews. I want to hug my kids, all of the beautiful babies- most now taller than me- that I've cared for over the years, who hold little pieces of my heart. I want to smush Luke in a bear hug and hear him say, "Auntie Jess!" I want to see Bailey crawling and laughing. I want to hold Adam and Brady close and shield them from the sorrow and upheaval that their short lives have already witnessed. I want to marvel at how Allie and Isabelle, the little girls who were the first I cared for with the title of "nanny" have become beautiful young women, teenagers, in what seems like the blink of an eye. I want to laugh with Michal and Eliana over the silly pictures we took the last time I was in Boston. I want to hear Danielle's infectious giggle and Will's serious voice explaining technical sailing terms with all the confidence and poise of an old salt, even though he's only 11. I want to hug my mom and dad, and my brothers Sean and Daniel and my sisters Katie and Lib. My sister Julie, who is even farther away in Wales. I yearn for the comfort and safety of knowing I am loved.
But as far as I know, there's not enough room to carry a Star Trek transporter on your sleigh. And it's too late for Milky the Cow. So instead I'll just say thank you for the gifts I already have. For my brother, Zach, who lives just on the other side of El Camino Real -the Way of Kings- and cares for me so well. For the friends who have surrounded me this difficult Christmas season and given me happy memories of gathering around a fireplace together, laughing, instead of sitting at home, alone and feeling sorry for myself. Thank you for the comfort and safety of knowing that I am loved.
p.s. I'm sorry there won't be any cookies this year. I'm truly sorry. I ate all of the dough. It's been one of those weeks, y'know?