on holidays [and growing up]
there is something about this time of year...
as the little naps [soon she will no longer nap]
and we wait for relatives from both near and far to arrive
as i run on very little sleep [maybe i was trying to wait up for santa]
i keep thinking
about how we become who we are
how as adults we remember and reflect on our kid selves through the lens of time. i can not really remember any singular christmas or hannukah or holiday as individual parts, but they amalgamate to become something other. a feeling of safety. a feeling of love. the anticipation. the attention. sure a few memories seem less blurry, more individual, more special, but mostly not.
and for me, because of my amazing family - these are memories of contentment. of knowing my place in the world.... and i want this. i want that more than anything for my child.
i think of
how as adults we have to deal with friends with cancer, people unexpectedly dying, pets and heroes passing on, and all the other "stuffs" of life that are complex and muddy and challenging and also beautiful.
how things become nostalgic
how we yearn for the comfort, the look, the touch, the smell, the knowing of things that are familiar and safe.
how we, as parents, now see the world anew again.
and how "tradition" and "magic" become sparkly and although intangible are treasures cherished more than we once thought ever possible.
how in the genre of tradition we keep ones that we like, alter ones that need adjustment, and forge new ones with the people and pets and things we love.
how kids should never know how tired adults are.
how we should try. REALLY try. to savor how they see the world, because as they say it all changes so quickly. next year she will not turn to me in wonder at the nutcracker and say - mama - are those REAL people dancing?
someday she will not be as excited by making sugar cookies with vanilla icing [sneakily putting sugar on her fingertips so she can lick it off] for santa. and i will not be as delighted when she picks bowls to match the colors of the sugar all on her own with no prompting from me.
someday there will be no need for 2 kinds of wrapping paper - there will not be a magic gift giver.
when i posted this on instagram noting the santa paper = a gift from santa i loved the comments from friends - at our house santa wraps in red craft paper - our santa used pretty tissue paper, often with glitter. always delicate a joyful mystery.
i replied to eireann - i'm not surprised at all. i'm learning that it's so many little things that shape who we are, and i can see how delicate mysterious glitter packages would help lead to you.
and that - that feels like it is the simple truth. it is not ONE thing, but so many things that make us who we are. so for every miss step there is the thing we did right - in the background - that means more. there is no way to know, and no way to control it. [as the universe keeps reminding me - over and over].
as i look at the holiday table with the table cloth made my grandmother i can't help but be grateful. along with excited and curious and hopeful about what comes next.
whatever you celebrate [if anything], whatever your traditions may be, may these last days of 2013 be reflective and wonderful and whatever it is that you need them to be.