Recently on Facebook, I posted this picture, comparing last Christmas to this Christmas:
and a friend of mine commented that she didn't get nostalgic for the early days with her kids, the way a lot of mothers do. I replied that there are things here and there I get nostalgic about, but that, despite that precious photo from Christmas 2012, I am certainly not nostalgic about the newborn stage. I'm reminded of a conversation I had with a pregnant friend - she said, "Birthing sounds horrible." I paused, because in a way, birthing was horrible, but it was also wonderful (which is what I told her), because at the end, you get this incredible little person to fall in love with. What is really horrible, I thought, hours after our conversation, is having a newborn. And the newborn stage lasts much longer than labor. I would have given birth two more times to skip the first month. But more on that another time. Again, it's the same thing. It's painful - in a different way than labor, for sure - but, in the same way, wonderful, because now I have a happy, playful, twelve-month old, who is a joy. And, in the grand scheme of parenthood, both labor and the early days are so fleeting.
So, while I don't long for those early days of two-hour stints of sleeping, one-hour nursing sessions, and forgetting to eat until 5PM, when I look at pictures from last Christmas, I am reminded of what a special time it was. I remember feeling so blessed to have a family that brought Christmas to us so that we could focus on our new baby, and not have to miss the holiday. So thankful to have plentiful hot food available, at least for a few days. On Christmas Eve, a light snow fell, and I remember hugging my sweet, eleven-day old baby to my chest, and looking out the window, feeling like everything was magical. "This is Christmas," I thought.
And then, we tried to read The Night Before Christmas to Abby, which did not go nearly as magically as I'd imagined it would. It ended with tears (Abby's and mine), and Kevin reading the book to his brother's dog, Stanley.
Stanley enjoyed it. Things went a little more smoothly with Abby this year.
The point of this post? To capture memories I didn't have the energy to get down last year, I guess, and a reminder to live in the moment with this little one, and be realistic about where we are and where we've been. And to celebrate the blessing of our little girl and wonderful family!
A real Christmas post later!