A special announcement, a new Christmas song means a new addition to my Christmas Jukebox series.
The song is an absolute belter of a track and captures Christmas in a way reminiscent of the second verse of ‘Christmas in Hollis’ by Run-DMC – it’s a song which focuses on the real side of Christmas. The fights with family members over politics and the differences between generations. The happy tears of someone showing they care as well as the sadder tears of expectations sorely dashed.
I’ve been the cause of that last one at least once. 16 years ago I was almost killed by a Ford Transit van, escaping only by a combination of the skills of the various healthcare workers, sheer luck, and the unfailing love of my family.
This event shaped the lives of us all. It was a painful reminder of the fragility of the world. You can’t expect to know what will happen every second of the day. Every now and then the universe throws something you could’ve never anticipated your way. You shouldn’t go through life always expecting horrors to occur, but that’s an understandable mindset when occasionally they do happen.
The accident shaped me in this way, too. I often expect everything could come crashing down at any second. I’m most terrified of the plot line you find in certain TV shows where something is All a Dream. It’s a persistent worry that things are going too well. Fun fact above the type of brain damage I sustained, it’s believed to have given me a bit of a mood alteration where I act like I’m 2 glasses of wine in.
That feeling was never more serious than this year. Like everyone, I spent most of this year inside for fear of a virus. Unlike most people, I had some very legitimate reasons to be extra particularly careful (rather than just moderately careful). My Exquisite Wife discovered she was pregnant in January so this entire year has been about keeping her safe. Keeping her safe while also not revealing that she was pregnant for much of it as we didn’t want lots of fuss. This did make it a bit hard to explain to some people why I was taking the pandemic seriously (seriously though, it’s a pandemic, you should be taking it pretty damn seriously, right?). It also made it harder to explain why I was so critical of the government’s overall mismanagement and bungling of almost every step this year. There were times this year I was sure I must be in some extended coma dream. The world does not feel real. Everything was falling to pieces yet with my oddly elevated mood it felt kind of… fine?
I was sure bad times and sadness would befall me at any second this year. A pregnancy is an additional risk factor and especially tricky during a mass sickness. As well as that, I’m quite into finding out statistics and it chills me to the soul that 20% of pregnancies fail. This year I’ve been so worried that we might end up in that 20%. I was so worried I didn’t fully accept I was having a baby as a kind of coping mechanism.
There was a palpable moment of dread when she first came out and didn’t make a sound, cord around her neck. But the midwife moved it, with the gentle firmness of an experienced angel, and my girl screamed the place down.
I was sweaty. In a mask, my exhalations bursting out the sides, partially fogging my glasses but I saw all that and shouted out “YAS” at the top of my lungs, as the cry of grief instantly flipped into an exaltation that maybe there is some more justice in this universe than I thought.
At that moment, I became a daddy. I instantly bonded with this little girl. She’s so chatty, just like her mother.
So, I’m pleased to announce it’s Christmas as writing all that out – the first time I’ve done so – has got me reliving those feelings. This Christmas will be a quiet one with my parents, who may have prematurely aged from the accident but have recovered well thereafter and look incredibly good for it. Also present will of course My Exquisite Wife, the New True Queen B, and Our President, Augie Peanutbutter.
From all of me here at Pastures Fresh, I’d like to wish you a very merry Christmas.
The writer of this piece encourages you to look both ways when crossing streets.