It could be any midnight. It just so happens it’s the midnight that serves to divide Christmas Eve from Christmas Day.
We’re a four-fifths Spanish family, estranged – sadly; inevitably – from the Spanish side. But whilst the mother and children are entirely Spanish, the father is half English and half Croatian; and whilst the Croatian and English sides have also had their problems over the years, the love for place and time has never been lost in either case.
Neither, for that matter, in the Spanish context; although reasons plenty are there for the situation to be quite otherwise.
It was a long wait tonight.
As it’s now 12.09 am, perhaps I should say it was a long wait last night.
Middle son was doing a nine-hour shift.
We couldn’t in all honesty not wait.
We couldn’t in all love not resist the temptation.
He was grateful for us finally waiting. Of all of us, he ate the best.
Hardly surprising, after a nine-hour shift.
The three children, no longer children, men and women in their own gorgeous right, laughed and joked and had the best of times.
The parents were a little tired after the day’s running around – but oh so grateful that the family was together after a challenging year, and at its tail-end.
We count ourselves lucky to be together.
More than anything, being together counts so much.
There’s not much left, actually – apart from being together.
“Apart from being together…” – well … that does sound weird!
An oxymoron sort of weird.
A pleasurable weird.
This sort of stuff, this sort of pleasure, this kind of delight in silly wordness … it comes of living between cultures. Of being neither one thing nor the other. You’ll see yourself, one day you’ll see, if you ever have the honour of living between cultures yourself.
In the meantime, just delight in being together before midnight …
Even as you never forget that apart from being together before midnight, there’s little else which offers so much love.