There are a lot of things people don’t tell you about when you’re expecting a baby. Those gory postpartum details. How alone some of those sleep deprived nights can feel. How you don’t care how ridiculous your happy dance looks when that baby finally stops saying just “da da da da” and finally, finally [cue angel harps] babbles “MA MA!”. Hallelujah, praise the Lord, and AMEN, sweet child of mine.
(Sorry, got a little carried away with my celebration there.)
Another one of those moments that is widely understood but rarely mentioned is just how much more amazing any holiday is when you add a child to it. This hit me just recently when we took our oldest trick or treating for the very first time on Halloween. We’d had a blast dressing him up for the past two years, and this year I was so looking forward to coordinating costumes for him and his little sister. I figured this year would be the only window I had for that before he’s into super heroes, so you can imagine how crushed I was when he informed me that he wanted to be a doctor “with a white coat.” Thanks a lot, Doc McStuffins.
I wasn’t expecting a whole lot out of Halloween since his costume wasn’t terribly creative (although he was looking so official/adorable in a personalized pint size doctor coat.) And then we handed him his orange bucket, ushered him up to our neighbors’ front door, and rang the doorbell. After weeks of coaching, he uttered his first sweet little “Trick or Treat!” and thanked the kind woman for the candy. When he turned around the light in his eyes said it all–this moment was awesome! “I got some candy, Mommy! I got some candy!”
As we moved from home to home that night, I couldn’t help but get so excited about these next couple of months and seeing the holidays yet again through the eyes of my children. They don’t need perfection, they just need my husband and I to be all in. In our home, we’ll be teaching and reinforcing the simple truth of giving thanks, and I’m waiting on pins and needles to hear what he comes up with that he is thankful for! Of course, there will also be some turkey and pilgrim talk up wrapped in there– maybe even a Native American headdress or two. He’s going to love it, and I’m going to give thanks more than ever for these sweet, simple days with our two little ones.
There are many things about the Christmas season that will be beyond his comprehension, but we will still talk about the true meaning of Christmas. I remember how much he loved the Christmas program at church for preschoolers about the birth of the Savior that we’ll see again. And Santa will swing by too as long as everyone behaves. Last year our boy was a little puzzled by the hullabaloo we made on Christmas morning, but this year I know he’ll get it. And it will be awesome. Not to mention the little girl inside of me who is ridiculously excited over the potential little girl toys that Santa might bring for my youngest!
As much as I’m capable of stressing myself out to make these months the picture of perfection, I’m going to try hard to remind myself just how sweet these times are, especially while my kids are so young, and to enjoy the days through their eyes. If that means the Christmas cookies are misshapen or Indian feathers are strewn about my house, then so be it.
I am thankful for these days.
What experiences with your kids get you most excited about the holidays?