My favourite gifts on Christmas morning were from both of my children. Ava gave me a pair of dangly earrings that she picked out for me at our local craft fair in November, and she also gave me a card she made at school with a personal message that she wrote inside. The sweetness of her personality really came through in the card, and the fact that she wrote, "I love you soooooooooooooo much", with "o's" that went on forever, brought immediate tears to my eyes.
William gave Jason and I a paper bag he decorated at preschool, with hot chocolate mix and a hand-drawn picture inside. The picture said, "Something I love about my family is:" and then he drew himself, a heart, and a Christmas tree. The simplicity and beauty of his pictures, drawn earnestly from his four year old perspective, got me crying again after I had dried my tears from opening Ava's gifts.
Our kids are no longer just little kids. They are people in their own right, with specific personalities, quirks, skills and rough edges. They have so much love and sweetness inside of them, as I saw clearly on Christmas morning, but it's available every day if I am looking for it. They are bursting with creativity and ideas, and all they need is some encouragement and care from us to make them bloom and grow.
In the baby and toddler years, as parents you do your best to keep your head above water, keeping the kids fed and dressed and bathed and cuddled. It is now, in this period of their childhood, that I can see the benefits of what we have put into them to this point. Yesterday we took them to a matinee movie and dinner for a new boxing day tradition that Ava suggested we start, and we had so much fun together. Listening to them both laugh at the antics of Yogi Bear, getting more of the jokes than ever before, warmed my heart, and filled me with pride at who my kids are becoming.
I have particular cause to celebrate William this Christmas. After the appointment with the psychologist in August, everything has changed between us, and the air is fresh and clean. We can both breathe freely, and I can see him more like he really is, instead of the faulty way I perceived him before. Brick by brick, I have been dismantling the wall I built between us since he was born, and I love how our relationship has grown and changed in the last four months. It has been one of the best transformations of my life, and I love that I have this year with him before he goes to Kindergarten in order to solidify our new and improved dynamic as mother and son.
Today we head to Canmore for a few days to spend time with Jason's parents. I'm so glad I have one more week to relax and sleep in and enjoy lazy mornings. I am slowly feeling my energy and creativity returning, and I think I'll be ready to hit the ground running in the new year. But I'm not ready yet, and I'm okay with that, because now is still the time to unwind and let all of these personal changes settle in and take hold.