I’m sapping out. Yesterday, I teared up watching a gaggle of preschoolers sing “It’s a Small World” while signing the words. Watch out, I might go full on Barry Manilow on your ass.
The love fest really began after my trip to CO. The vacation was a mere 48 hours, but the small bit of relaxation mixed with being away from home caused me to miss my family beyond measure. I came home wanting to just hang out with them. Normally, I would spend the mornings running errands or attempting to get the house in order, but as Kellen pleaded “Walk! Outside!” it became all too easy to neglect responsibility and follow him about as he explored the world. I had to find my way back to reality this morning and take a few minutes to clean, lest NASA start to explore my bathroom searching for new life forms. But I’m still pretty enamored with my kids right now. Last night, I had to stop myself from watching Kellen sleep. I know, it gets worse.
Watching Liam’s preschool class program, I pondered how long it would be before things changed. Growing up, I recall exactly one school program where I was excited to perform. I was in Kindergarten. My class had learned a dance for the Winter program. All the girls got to wear matching skirts, and some were bragging that their moms were going to let them wear makeup. In response to my pleading, my mom smoothed a tiny bit of green eye shadow onto my lid. I felt like the most beautiful girl in the world.
From then on, performing in school programs was considered a chore. My friends and I rolled our eyes at the teacher, and complained about how lame it was to sing for our parents. The night could never end quickly enough, for all parties involved.
But the students in Liam’s class were so excited to show their mommies and daddies what they had been learning. I could see the looks of concentration as they tried to remember all the words and signs. Liam was actually bouncing up and down with excitement. The teacher played “Jingle Bell Rock” and asked the parents to dance with their children. Those kids came racing over to grab our hands and lead us onto the floor.
Maybe it’s the holidays that are making me sentimental, but it seems that the parents of young children have the best gig there is. Think I’m joking? To your kids, you are BETTER than Santa. I received an adorable Christmas card of a little girl clinging to her mother, who was standing next to Santa. Liam has a limited understanding of Santa, and Kellen is still pretty unsure about the guy. But the second daddy walks through the door, they are sprinting down the hall to welcome him home. Think you aren’t magical? Today, I kissed a bump on Kellen’s head and it magically quit hurting. I even have the bowl full of jelly thing down. Kellen has taken to calling belly buttons “beep beeps” and at dinner, we all have to lift our shirts, show our beep beeps, and jiggle our tummies. To your kids, you are their world. Maybe next year, Santa will be the star of the show, but for now you put that twinkle in their eyes.
A couple of days ago, I got Kellen out of his bed. I was changing his diaper and talking to him. I said “You are so cute!” To my surprise, he said “Mommy cute!” We now have a game where I say “Kellen cute” and he responds “Mommy cute.” Of course it makes me feel incredible. But I started thinking about how when my holidays are filled with little joyful moments like that, to someone else, this might be the loneliest time of the year.
I don’t think it has to be. I think each of us has the potential to make someone else feel like the center of the universe. We may not always take notice, but each of us has the power to make the sun rise and set for another individual. Maybe it’s your mother, your friend, a coworker, a friend, but someone thinks this world is a better place because you are around.
Don’t believe me? The easiest way to be assured of this is to do something nice for someone else. No matter the recipient, feeling good about yourself and your actions is a sure way to feel united with the world and secure in your place in it.
Forgive me sappy notions, but if we can’t get sentimental at Christmas time, when can we? Whatever you believe, whoever you are with, I hope this holiday season brings you immeasurable joy and an abundance of cheer. Happy Holidays!