Every year Dan and I watch our favorite Christmas movies. This year has proven to be no different. If anything, it is most important because we are moving and due to staging of the home, there is no sign of Christmas within my current four walls.
So bring on my list of holiday traditions and a good dosage of John Hughes.
One movie that I have to watch every year is Home Alone. There is something magical about being from Chicago and seeing that movie at Christmastime. Or maybe it’s the sparkle in the easy access I have to visit the actual house in gorgeous Winnetka.
Or this year, maybe it’s because I see little physical resemblances in my son, Ferris, and Kevin McCallister.
So, fireplace roaring, cozy blanket and soft pillow on the couch, Dan and I nestled ourselves in our family room with our pets and watched the Chicago holiday classic, and this year, I saw myself connecting with a new character. It wasn’t my 90’s crush, Macaulay Culkin. It wasn’t the dreamy home at 671 Lincoln Ave that I aspire to decorate like.
It was the mom, Catherine O’Hara’s character, Kate.
As I watched the scenes from a different perspective, a mother myself, I realized how big of a role she plays in the movie. Sure the funny scenes are with Kevin, Marv, and Harry, but the emotional, real Christmas glue was the relationship between Kevin and his mom.
Kate McCallister is a busy woman. She and her husband provide for their family, it is clear that they host and pay for everything, and they deal with everyday, real life family chaos.
She is completely and beautifully normal.
But the lines that she has, I often find myself saying the exact same things at moments of my everyday life.
Going through IVF to have Ferris, leaving a guaranteed paycheck to start a business of my own so I could be closer to him, and never letting loose of pulling it together to host and create memories for Ferris, my family and friends often has me looking in the mirror and muttering to myself, “What kind of a mother am I?”
When Ferris has been sick or hurt or crying for me, to take away any pain he has, I have often said, “If I have to sell my soul to the devil himself...”
I often screw up some way or another on a daily basis, and when I cause my son to cry or see something that I could have prevented, I, too, drop to my knees to tell him, “I am so sorry.”
Because even though Ferris is almost 20 months and Kevin was a bit older, both Kate and I have something in common: We know what life is like without our son.
It’s the scariest feeling in the world.
Infertility and IVF taught me that there are no guarantees in life, and after my miscarriage, I didn’t know how motherhood was going to fit into my life plans.
How good of a mother could I be if I cannot even carry my own baby?
Then I do have a baby and when I get angry or frustrated or yell, I feel terrible inside because I wanted this child so badly, and yet, I can get overwhelmed and feel like I am not doing enough to make him happy.
Family is the greatest gift. There is no dollar amount on it, and you really don’t appreciate it until it is gone sometimes.
I told Dan over a year ago that when I was pregnant, I secretly wanted a son. I have witnessed some of the greatest relationships of all time between a mother and a son, and deep down, I wanted that, too. And although I will never know in this lifetime who my baby was that did not make it into my arms, perhaps that angel baby knew more of what I was meant to have and give my life’s purpose to by paving my body to carry and deliver Ferris.
Because like Kate and Kevin, Ferris and I have a special bond. I would sell everything I have on me, ride a truck with complete Polka strangers, and go to the ends of the Earth to get home to my son.
Infertility and IVF.
Miscarriage and a healthy pregnancy.
The ability to celebrate a second Christmas with my little blonde miracle.
Home Alone…a definite must-see year after year after in my house.