I have a few photos from Christmas morning that I want to throw up here. That day was quiet, serene and lovely. There was nothing planned except to be with each other, play with presents we had gotten the day before, and read books while snuggling on the couch. It was a day to remember for the pause we were able to experience, and it felt like much needed rest.
This week I am back at work, and it also happens to be the coldest that it has been since winter fell upon us. I am doing the best I can to stay ahead of the game and grind, but I am desperately feeling like I need a few more days of quiet. I'll grab it here and there while I can, and maybe even get an essay out on reflections and resolutions; that always does a soul good.
The best Christmas present I got this year was these two interacting much more with each other. Sloane has always been completely smitten with her baby sister, but for the first few months Logan would just look wide-eyed back at Sloane with bewilderment and a hint of terror. A few months ago, I could see recognition in Logan's eyes when Sloane came at her, and then a little later, a little smile would appear on her face whenever Sloane came around. These days, Logan often breaks into a big grin when Sloane prances up to her in the morning, and Sloane can make Logan laugh and dance with glee. Sloane knows that Logan has recently taken to the "Itsy Bitsy spider song", so she sings it to her, with all of the motions, every day, and Logan rewards her with a huge smile and gurgle. I've also been surprised at how Sloane comes up with ways to play with the baby considering Logan can't do too much right now: for instance, the other day, while Logan was sitting in her exersaucer, Sloane sat on the couch next to it, her feet dangling onto the saucer, and held a long stick with the bottom of it resting right in front of Logan. Sloane encouraged Logan to hold on to the stick (which Logan can do), and then Sloane belted songs at the top of her lungs - and said they were on a boat? or something, not quite sure, but they both seemed to be enjoying themselves immensely.
During the past week, I had the thought that being around children is like being around mythical, magical creatures. If you stop and realize how temporary any given moment is, you realize that they will never again be that way again. The being that is 3 and a half years old, delighted with new animal facts and cuddles on the couch, the being that has that particular expression on her face when listening to a story, is going to disappear soon, forever. The baby with chubby fingers will not be around next year, the fat thigh rolls and the gurgles of laughter will be replaced by a new creature with different abilities, who will also be very fleeting and short-lived. That's my other Christmas gift given to me by my Creator this year - the eyes to behold these two mystical creatures given to me, ever changing, shape-shifting, and giving me deep-seated joy. My responsibility with this gift is to stop and say, "Wow.....amazing! Magical!" often. That's going on my resolution list - to say 'wow' often.
I feel incredibly rich (and warm) when I hold these two in my arms.
Yes, Sloane and I have matching pajamas and I have to say, sleeping in a onesie during the winter might be my new jam. It feels so right.
So here's what I've concluded about making gingerbread houses. It's fun and adorable and all that, but then it just sits there, taunting you with all that candy and gingerbread, and you keep wondering, should I have a nibble? Until it finally gets too old and you have to dump it out. Next year, I'm going to make a gingerbread house with ingredients and candy that I want to eat, put it together and decorate it with Sloane, enjoy it for a few hours, and then eat it for dessert.
Sloane had so many opinions about where everything should go on this house: I like to think she gets her strong opinions from her dad and her decorating sense from me.
I am the luckiest luckiest luckiest. Don't you ever forget that, Christine Lu.
You guys, have a good first week of 2016. It will all be okay!! All the hope in this little face says so.