On December 11th, we told your Daddy that you were on your way. We are both lucky that he is so clueless! I wanted to tell him in a special way, and nothing is more special to him (except for you, I guess!)than Christmas. So you and I teamed up (I guess if you're going to be hanging out with me for the next nine months then that's how I'm going to think of us) to give him a surprise.
It was our second year taking Compass to march with his greyhound friends in the Hammonton Christmas Parade. He is, of couse, decked out in his Santa suit and the kids just love meeting "Compass Claus". It is one of my very favorite parts of the holiday! Your Dad had been out of town the whole week, so you and I got a couple of quiet days to get to know each other, and then, on Friday, we slipped up a little and the second person to know about you wasn't actually your Daddy but a friend of Mommy's who caught her red-handed chugging grape juice instead of wine. We're not so suave yet at some of these things! But it was perfect, really, she was just the right amount of excited and terrified, and helped Mom talk about some of her feelings while sharing the disbelief and exhiliaration of the moment. We are so thankful that she was there.
At any rate, she helped us design a little onesie for Dad that said "I love Daddy Cat" (with a picture of a cat, of course) and a little card with all FIVE of his babies on it. We wrapped it up in a special wrapping and stashed it away. She would become a very important part of our master plan working behind the scenes! We were both so excited when your Dad finally got home, luckily we were so so busy finishing our sewing projects that we didn't even have time to spill the beans! Finally we were getting ready to leave for the parade and suddenly your Dad became such a POO! He wasn't feeling good, he had a headache, he didn't want to go! He was such a grouch! I almost threw the whole plan in the trash but I knew that he would be so disappointed so I dragged him out the door and we drove to New Jersey for the parade.
It seemed like the parade route went on forever and ever! I thought it would never end, I was so ready to share the news with your Dad. Finally we got to the end of the parade, but it wasn't what we expected - instead of being inside where you could see Santa everything was outside and Santa was nowhere to be found! We found a fireman and asked him where we could find Santa and if he could help us with a little project. This is where your Dad's cluelessness comes in especially handy, because as we were setting all of this up, he was just standing like a Crab in the middle of the crowd being cranky. My special little elf scampered off to complete her mission and I finally told your Dad I wanted to go and get a picture with Santa.
I hope that when you are older and we tell you this story you will always know that of all the things I love about your father, this is one of the things I love the most. I can call it his cluelessness, but it is also that he is trusting and kind and willing to enthusiastically go along with whatever crazy schemes I dream up. A picture with Santa? Well, of course! Why not? So in we went, and filled out a little card with our address on it and stepped right up. Luckily Santa caught on right away and asked your Dad if his name was Art. When he said it was, he told him that he had a special present just for him. Your Dad was, of course, not at all surprised by this, saying later "Well, I HAVE been a good boy this year..." and opened the gift to find the onesie and the card we'd made. He looked a little confused, and then a little shocked, and then when I finally said, "Do you know what this means?" his face finally broke into a smile.
Of course, being your mom and all, I teared up and we hugged and took our picture with Santa. Your Dad just kept saying he couldn't believe it and his hands were shaking with excitement. We thanked Santa for the present and went back outside to hug everyone who had worked behind the scenes and took some photos for posterity. Your Dad smiled so long and so big I thought his face would burst, finally understanding "So THIS is why you wanted to come to the parade so bad!"
Afterwards we celebrated with friends and food and (no wine) Diet Coke. I thought about next year's parade and how you would be here with us, in a tiny snowsuit. I thought about pushing you in a stroller next to your brother and introducing you to Santa. I thought of how blessed we were, and prayed that next year we would be in the same place, plus you, as happy as we could be.