“I had such a great weekend with you! I’m going to miss you when you go to school tomorrow.”
“You’ll see me when I get home!”
Yes, she’s a smart girl. And yes I will see her this afternoon.
But after a weekend so lovely and perfect… well it’s just not the same.
On Friday, looking ahead at the two days we had planned, I felt a bit overwhelmed. Lots to do, lots of plans. A brisk change from the lazy newborn days I had finally settled into by the week’s end. And as we packed up kids and car for ballet class on Saturday morning, I longed for some quiet time at home.
But ballet class turned it all around. Little man sat happily in his carseat, alternating between dozing and gazing around. And I got to, for the first time in 6 weeks, peek in at my girl. While I’ve been at home, watching her brother grow, she, it turned out, was here, growing into a lovely little ballerina. She followed every instruction from the teacher and her moves have taken on a gracefulness I hadn’t seen before. A beautiful blend of skill and blossoming confidence poured put of her every step. It was amazing. She grows right before my eyes and I’m fearful of blinking and missing the whole, beautiful bloom.
We rounded out the lovely day with Christmas. I love how, even though this is her third year picking out a tree with us, it is still new to her. I admit, I’ll be a bit sad when her memories last longer than a few days and she no longer greets each holiday with brand new amazement and wonder. So, high on that special glow in her eyes, and against my better judgement, I let her unpack the tree ornaments while M began to string the lights. There was, of course, a casualty. One of my favorites didn’t make it. A small, glass angel ended the day in pieces and never made it to the tree.
Normally, I’d react to this sort of thing. I’d get upset, have to force myself to not scream at her for what was simply an accident, mourn the loss of what I considered to be a precious thing.
But I’m learning. Things are not precious. The memories behind that ornament remain, even if the angel itself resisted being glued back together. We can get another angel.
What is precious is my children’s spirit. Their memories of what the holidays were like in their childhood.
I want my girl to remember that we let her decorate the tree. I want to watch her wish it goodnight before she goes to bed each evening because she feels a special ownership of it, having played such a big part in decorating it. I want her to wrap her hands around the things we use to decorate our house and hear the stories behind each one. I want this to be a time of smiles and laughter and magic.
Sometimes, that means things will break. And that’s ok.
Because as I sit here on Monday morning, reflecting back on the weekend, staring at our tree and wrapping Saturday’s memories around me while the house feels so empty, I’m not missing that angel. I’m missing her smile.
Happy Monday to you. Hope your weekend was full of early holiday spirit.