Movement, coming from the hallway. I have excellent Mom-hearing. I rolled over and inwardly groaned because the clock read 5:11 am on Christmas Day. My son was up.
I opened the door, expecting to see him at my doorway coming in to tell me that he had woken up because he was excited to see what Santa had brought. Well, I was partially right.
He had an armload of unwrapped presents and was transporting them from the fireplace hearth back to his room. "WHAT ARE YOU DOING," I shrieked. Shrieking is an understatement. I think they heard me four houses over. My son got a startled look on his face and his eyes started to water as he said, "I was just taking my presents back to my room". He knew he was in deep doo-doo. "It is 5 o'clock in the morning!" I stammered, in shock at what was going down, which was my Christmas Day in flames.
His explanation? He woke up at 4:00 am and crept up to the front of the house to see what Santa had brought. He then decided that if he woke me up, I would tell him it was too early and to go back to bed. So, he didn't wake me up. He then decided it would be a fine idea to open his presents because, after all, they were his. But he didn't stop there. He then moved to the Christmas tree and began to open all of the presents under the tree. If there was a gift that didn't have a tag on it, he assumed it was his and opened it anyway. Yeah, I know, you're saying, "WTF!" right about now. So, you can only imagine how I felt!
I caught him before he opened more than about 5 resents under the tree. But guess what? Four of those 5 presents were mine. Gifts from my husband that he had snuck out after I went to bed. So, now I had no gifts to open on Christmas. They were all sitting there in a sad pile in the hallway.
My Mother swears I will laugh about this years from now. But for today, I am NOT laughing. My whole day was ruined. When I talked to him later in the day, I asked him if he really understood what he had done. "Explain it to me," I said, "Tell me why I am so upset." His answer? "Because you didn't get to capture the moment?". OUCH. I have to admit, that was true. I was upset that I now had no pictures or video of the holiday. I mean, I was going to totally win Chris Brogan's holiday photo contest. So yes, that part totally sucked.
But, what I was really upset about was that I totally missed getting the reaction. Seeing the look of joy on his face as he opened each and every treasured gift. The ones I had worked so hard to think of and find. And how can a 9 year old really understand that. He can't. And he won't, until he's grown and has kids of his own. And boy, oh boy. What a story that's gonna make for his kids...