Chloe is asking Santa for a Little Cute Baby for Christmas. You may recall that Chloe already has a doll she has named Little Cute Baby. She got her for Christmas two years ago, and the doll accompanies us almost everywhere, including camping and vacations. Consequently, she is starting to get quite worn. So, Chloe is asking for a replacement - an identical replacement - a brand new, exactly the same Little Cute Baby. Oddly enough, this has been a dilemma for me. There is some part of me that is sad about the whole thing. Where is the sentimentality? Is everything so disposable nowdays? The ease and comfort of simply exchanging one thing for another, newer, better, should be practical and logical, and yet for some reason it disturbs me. Maybe it is because dolls are closer to people than things, because of their shape and because of how much love is invested in them daily. Perhaps the real fear is that one day I'll overhear Chloe's tiny voice saying, "Mommy is getting pretty worn, maybe we should get a newer one!"
Okay - another Seth moment. Today when we got home from school, Seth said, "Could I have something to eat? The hot dog at lunch was enough to sustain me until now, but I would love a little snack." He talks like a novel! A nine year old using the word "sustain?" I've always loved vocabulary, but now I'm raising vocab freaks! A couple of weeks ago at our friends' house, I was explaining that my kids are now 1,3,5,7,&9 years old. Seth said, "in other words, we have now embarked upon the stage of odd numbers." You should have seen how our friend looked at Seth! It almost made me snort my drink! But then this is the kid who, when he was in kindergarten, explained to me that he had scraped his hands because, "I trod upon my pants and tripped." Seriously - part of me is totally proud, and part is a little afraid! Seth actually wanted to perform sentence graphing for his talent at the talent show last month. Not at all normal, and completely my fault! Can kids still be cool and talk like that? Or will he be ostracized by his peers forever? Aarrgh - this parenting thing is complicated!!! Smart, cool, athletic, ambitious - but not geek, arrogant, over-competitive, or selfish. Where is that line?
A few years back, we finally gave in and bought a fake Christmas tree. It was a close-out, after-Christmas deal, and we had a ton of trouble finding a live tree in our price range that year, so we decided to move on. The next Christmas, instead of looking in a lot, we pulled out our plastic tree and set it up. You know what? It wasn't all that bad! No frozen toes or dismay at prices at the tree lot, or worrying about how long the tree would last before becoming a fire hazard and picking needles out of the carpet until spring. But what I really did miss was the smell - that fantastic, irreplaceable aroma of fresh pine that reminded me of childhood and ushered Christmas into the house. I love that smell!
Two days ago we hauled the fake tree out of the basement. The first thing that I noticed when I walked into the living room after the tree had been set up, was that it does indeed have a smell. It filled the room with it's own aroma - it smells like fresh plastic. You know, the way a new toy smells, just out of the box. And so my natural irony concluded that perhaps it is appropriate that a heavily commercialized holiday should smell like plastic! Imagine it now - Plastic scented holiday candles, plastic scented potpourri. They wouldn't call it "plastic," but instead, "the true scent of Christmas." Out with pine and cinnamon - let them go the way of wassail and sleigh rides, nostalgia for times past that mostly just live in songs. There is a new tradition in the making! What do you think? What other scents could be added to my new line of "True Scent" holiday candles?