Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Holiday Hopes

The holiday season is officially upon us and with it comes so many memories & emotions. I get a catch in my throat and a tear in my eye every time I think ahead to upcoming holiday traditions and realize that my daughter is here to experience it all with me. I also get a pang when I remember the holiday seasons before this one. It wasn't long ago that I was in tears all season long as I furiously flipped channels away from commercials for baby's first Christmas ornament and tried to avoid the line of eager little ones waiting to see Santa. So recently, I spent my Christmas crying into my husband's shoulder as we mourned together a "gift" worse than coal when my BFN was confirmed and AF arrived. I will always remember the deep longing I felt this time of year and the sheer pain of feeling like the only woman in the world that wasn't a mother during what was for everyone was "the most wonderful time of the year".

Even now as we trimmed our tree earlier tonight, I could feel the echo of those familiar emotions with each ornament we hung from that time in our lives. It is incredible how much emotion can be tied to an object, where just seeing it can make you feel exactly as you did when it made whatever 1st impression it had on you. When I pulled out last year's ornament, tears instantly welled in my eyes as I remembered how much hope and happiness came when we knew Snow Pea was on her way. And now this year, she is here and I can't wait to find the perfect ornament to commemorate that and how beyond overjoyed we are. Along with this there are so many holiday firsts I can't to witness and experience along with my daughter. High on the list is her first visit to Santa.

I have always been a big fan of Santa. I am a believer. I never worried if the mall Santa's beard was fake because he was just a helper anyway. When all of the other kids in school outgrew him, I felt sorry for them because I knew that since they didn't believe, he wouldn't come to their house and I defended my conviction even when I was the only one left in my class that believed. I waited up every Christmas Eve, heard hooves on my roof and saw glowing red noses in my windows. Christmas was pure magic for me and when I finally reached the point when the real world started to dampen some of the magic I felt lost. I cried to my mom that the magic of Christmas, of childhood was gone and I didn't know what to do. I wanted to be Peter Pan and never grow up, but time marched on and I was growing up anyway. She comforted me and told me her biggest secret. She had never wanted to grow up either but she had to, just like I did. The secret is to hold on to as much magic as possible and it will come back even stronger when you can live it all again through your children's eyes. And I could see in her eyes just how amazing it had been for her to see me and my sister giggle excitedly as we checked for our rewards from the tooth fairy, hunt for treasures from the Easter Bunny and stare in awe at the man in the red suit. That was the moment I knew for sure that more than anything in the world I wanted to be a mom. I wanted to give to my children what my mother had given me- the magic of childhood.

And now here it is. My child is here, and although she is too young to truly understand, I am convinced she already has a sense of that magical spirit I have always carried, and just like her mother, she is already a fan of Santa Claus. This past Thanksgiving morning we had a normal morning routine of breakfast, playtime and nap only this time we had the parade on in the background. she watched a few seconds here and there but mostly kept herself entertained with other things. Until Santa came on. As soon his his float came into view, Eliana stopped what she was doing and looked up intently and his jolly face came on screen she started giggling and waving to him! And she went right back to her book when the parade ended and Santa was gone. It was only him she was interested in.
I have to admit I got a bit teary-eyed and excited when I saw her reaction. We haven't taken her to see Santa in person yet, so I am hoping she loves that experience as much as she liked seeing him on TV.

But even if she doesn't love meeting Santa as much as I did as a child, this Christmas is already the most miraculous and magical one I could have ever imagined because I have the most precious treasure of my life in my arms to enjoy it with. I will never forget how heartbreaking my childless holidays were and I will be holding all those still hoping and struggling this holiday season close to my heart. I feel so unbelievably blessed to be finally be a mother this Christmas. It is my childhood Christmas wish come true. And if I could ask Santa for any Christmas wish this year it would be to bring this same hope & happiness to all of you.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Waving Hello to 7 Months!

My Sweet Snow Pea, a few days ago you turned 7 months old and you enthusiastically waved the new month in! This past month you grew and learned so much but by far your most adorable new skill is waving! And it's not just any wave, you slowly roll your wrist side to side like the Queen of England in a parade. It is priceless!

It started while we were in Orlando visiting many of your friends and family, your first trip to Mommy and Daddy's "home". You were so cute waving as you first laid eyes on many special people who had been waiting anxiously to meet you for so long. No wave was more precious though then when you said goodnight to your Great-Grandparents (mommy's Grammy & Grampy) after meeting them. They were so in awe of your chubby cheeks and happy smile and you were equally fascinated by them. You sat in their laps curiously watching their faces and soaking in their voices until your eyes got heavy and as Daddy walked you back to your room, you smiled only for them and waved at them all the way down the hall. It is a moment you may be too young to recall, but it is one I will cherish for many years to come.

It took me a while to figure out where this wave came from. It is after all, a little bit early for you to be doing such a thing and I can't remember many times in your short life that you have had people waving to you. But as we were smiling and waving at the baby in the mirror the next day, it clicked. I taught you to wave! Me! Not intentionally but I taught you just the same. You have a mirrored closet in your room and since you were born, I have held you in front of it at some point in the day and we waved "Hi" to the mirror baby. Like all babies, you have been awed by your reflection but I never realized you were watching me too! Of course, I know you are and that you learn from me and Daddy everyday but this was the first real, big thing that I know for sure that I taught you. It is an incredible feeling to say the least, second to the heart melting feeling of actually watching wave hello to the world.

Your 6th month held lots of other fun milestones. You started really eating solids and wow do you eat! You are definitely not a picky eater and happily gobble up just about any food and any texture Mommy makes for you, which is great since I blend it myself and it's not always super smooth. And you started sitting up unsupported overnight, and now it's like you could always do it. And you have finally decided it is worth the effort to regularly roll over from back to tummy. You could do it earlier, you just didn't seem to want to until now.

But nothing is as amazing as that wave. And the undeniable fact that I taught it to you has a big impact on me. I know it sounds crazy but sometimes I forget that I am your mom. Not that I literally forget and stop acting like your mom- loving you and taking care of you, just that there are moments when I am so busy doing and then I get a moment to let it all hit me and I am overwhelmed by the amazing awareness that I am your mother. I, along with your Daddy, am your number one teacher and influence in life. Every single thing I do matters to you and will influence the person you become. If I teach you to tie your shoes using bunny ears instead of the around the loop method, that's probably how you'll do it your entire life. If I get frustrated or annoyed in traffic you will learn that impatience. If your Daddy and I show our love to you and each other every day, you will develop similar relationships as you grow up. And if I wave hello every time we see a smiling face in the mirror, you will mirror me and wave hello too. As we wave hello to your 7 month milestones, I am also happily waving in the awareness that I am not just a lucky mom with a baby to love, I am also a grateful parent with a child to raise. And you have no idea how just how amazingly, wonderful that is.