I’m just starting to come out of a deep sleep when I feel a soft pressure against my lips. It is warm and makes me smile against the velvety softness. The pressure retreats and I open my eyes to stare into Joey’s gaze.
“Good morning,” I slur out.
“Merry Christmas, baby.”
I wrack my brain, thinking about the day. It’s rough, still trying to wake up my foggy brain. But he’s right. It is Christmas.
“Merry Christmas,” I reply.
Joey’s smile lights up the room. He always was a big kid when it came to Christmas. And this year he’s been even more enthusiastic.
“Let’s go get Aiden,” Joey says enthusiastically as he jumps out of bed.
“Baby, baby,” I say quickly, grabbing his arm.
“Let him sleep. What time is it?”
“Well, we gave him his bottle about two so he should be up soon. But let him sleep.”
You would have thought I killed his dog the way he looks at me. He’s just so crushed. “But it’s his first Christmas.”
“I know. But it’ll be Christmas all day. Besides, he’s only three months old. He has no idea what’s going on.”
“But don’t you want to see what’s under the tree?”
“Considering I bought half of it, I think the excitement can wait. Come on, let’s go back to sleep. Aiden will be up soon enough.”
Joey gives me a dubious look before sliding back down against my chest. I wrap an arm around him and hold him tight.
I spend the next hour or so holding my man tight, drifting in and out of sleep. I don’t think Joey is asleep and I’m proven right when the first cry comes from the nursery. Joey is out of bed like a shot, almost racing down the hall to get to our boy. His movements wake me up the rest of the way and drag myself out of bed at a much more sedate pace.
I head to the nursery and stand just inside the doorway. Joey has Aiden wrapped in his arms, swaying our baby from side to side. I can hear him whispering words to Aiden, but I can’t make them all out since he is facing away from me. But when I hear the word ‘Christmas’ I figure Joey is explaining the holiday to him.
When Joey finishes saying his piece, he turns to face me with a huge smile on his face.
“Okay. Aiden understands Christmas now. We can go open presents.”
I smile as I walk farther into the room. “Oh, he does, does he?”
“Yes,” Joey says with upmost confidence.
“He’s sucking on his hand.”
Joey looks down at our baby as I chuckle at his obviousness. But Joey is not deterred. “Come on, Scrooge. We’re going to open presents.”
So the three of us head downstairs. The Christmas tree we set up in the living room is still surrounded by presents of all sizes and shapes. Joey immediately sits on the floor next to the present pile. Knowing his arms must be getting tired, I grab Aiden’s reclining chair and sit it next to him.
Joey takes the hint and straps Aiden in before grabbing the presents. As he starts to sort them out, I go and make a bottle for Aiden, who is starting to show signs of fussiness.
Joey manages to hold off his excitement a little longer while we feed and change Aiden, but by the time I finish, he is practically vibrating with excitement. The presents are not only divided up by person, but also neatly stacked by size.
“Now can we open presents,” Joey says as I strap Aiden back in his chair.
“Go ahead,” I say amused.
The rest of the morning passes in a blur or laughter and wrapping paper. Joey and I got Aiden clothes, toys and all sorts of other things babies need. He doesn’t notice. But Joey and I have fun, laughing and smiling over the gifts we got each other. Eventually, all of the gifts are open and we start playing. We try to engage Aiden with some of his toys, but he quickly losses interest before falling asleep.
“Joey,” I call to him just as the clock hits noon.
“Yeah,” he calls from behind his new tablet. He has been engrossed in the things since Aiden fell asleep.
“We have to get ready to go to Lucas and Hal’s place.” We’re having dinner with our two best friends, since neither one of us have a relationship with our families anymore.
Joey lifts his head and pats the seat next to him on the couch. I head over and sit in the spot, leaning over to kiss him as I go.
“What,” I ask once I’m settled.
“I love you.”
“I love you too.”
“And this has been the best Christmas ever. I don’t think it will ever get better than this.”
I chuckle. “Sure, it will. In a year or two Aiden will start being interested in presents and Santa. Then it will get even more fun.”
Joey just smiles more. “You’re right. That will be more fun. I won’t be the only one excited about the holiday.”
“I’m excited. Just not as much as you.”
“I am not,” I reply indignantly.
“Yes, you are. But you’re my Scrooge.” Joey leans over and kisses my lips. And in this moment, I know they’re will be many more Christmases to come. And as long as I have Joey and Aiden, they will all be merry and bright.
Well, there is your 2013 Christmas Interlude. I hope you enjoyed it. Remember there will not be a new part next week as I will be working, spending time with family, etc. But check back on January 6th for Part 5. At that time, we will be going backwards in time to where Part 4 left off. See you all then.
Have a great holiday everyone!