We put the first block in our O, Antiphon house the other day and Nick argued vehemently.
"No, it's not time yet! You have the date wrong. Wait. Stop."
I was surprised. Ever since he was aware of time, Nicky has been obsessed with time. Most people took a screen shot of 12:12 on 12/12/12. Nick lined up every screen in the house and took as many shots as he could in that minute.
When I explained the date and showed him "proof" that it was, indeed, time to begin the O Antiphons, he slumped into the couch. "It's going too fast..."
"What's going too fast? Advent? It's super short this year; I hear you."
"No. My childhood. It's going too fast."
Sweet boy. December is always a big month for him. His name day, his birthday, Christmas--all rolled into one sweet, happy month. This year, his sweet seems heavily spiced with melancholy. He knows change is afoot. In the space of two short winter weeks, two big brothers will leave the house. Nicholas is particularly close to Patrick, simply adores him. And he is Michael's best man. He's trying to put on a brave face, but this boy is sad.
And then there's Sandy Hook. Nick has an Instagram account. He's seen pictures that make him weep. This tragedy is touching him deeply and he can't seem to push it from his thoughts. I think, in many ways, Nicky knows that childhood as he knew it ended on a Friday in December 2012, just a week before his twelfth birthday.
We're watching him, trying to adjust his life as if we could filter it through an Instagram button. A little more light would do some good, no? And let's shade that really sad part so we can't even see it. It's Christmas and your basketball team totally rocks--you, Stephen, Christian are all together! Just think, you'll have your own room for the first time ever! The wedding reception is a buffet--you'll love dinner!
And Nick, those children?
They're in heaven.