as it began to grow colder, and the days grew shorter, i found myself wonderin how we'd pass the cooler, darker hours of the evening. during the warmer months, we stay outside as long as possible, which is a great way for a toddler to spend her last couple hours of each day. i was a little afraid she'd grow restless w/all the time spent inside - i knew i would! fortunately, her imagination has taken off the last few weeks, so now she spends the better part of her evenings lost in a world of stuffed animals and song.
of the many wonder-full delights that her imaginary world brings into our lives, one of the sweeter ones has begun this week. sunday school this last week was spent decorating one of the church's christmas trees. though reluctant at first, riley eventually joined in the fun and had a ball. the next mornin, we loaded up into the pickup and went into town to buy a real christmas tree. a while later, the tree assumed its rightful place in the livin room. from that moment on, there's a phrase that's been repeated countless times... "mama, it's christmas! it's christmas, mama!" it's as if she forgets over and over that there's a christmas tree in the house....and so over and over again, as she emerges from her imaginary world, she realizes that it's there, and she exclaims suddenly each time, "mama, it's christmas! it's christmas, mama!"
i love it. i love her surprise and sudden recognition over and over again. i love that she delves so deeply into her world of song and play that becomes unaware of the obvious.
she loves christmas music and christmas cartoons. in the middle of summer, she sometimes asks to watch this old mickey mouse christmas carol movie.
while watching 'the sound of music' last night, she sang and danced around the living room.
she likes crawling up into our bed, squirming under the covers, pulling the comforter up to her neck, and sayin, "it's chrismas every day."
there's a dusting of snow on the ground right now. she was pining to go outside yesterday evening: "mama, we'll get our socks and our shoes and our jacket and our hat on and bundle up and go outside, and it'll be okay." how could i resist? so bundle up we did...and we stayed outside for a few minutes, just long enough for our hands to hurt. when it was time to come in, she cried. at first, i thought the tears were due to the pain of having such cold little hands, but when i asked her if she was crying b/c of her hands or b/c she wanted to stay outside, she blubbered, "b/c i didn't want to come inside."
and i know - all of these things are probably universal findings in all toddlers.... but as a mother of a baby born on christmas day, i've slowly begun to melt into the beautiful delight of this season...and i can't help but watch her, listen to her, laugh w/her, sing with her, and think.... our christmas girl, through and through.
as advent lingers and draws us to linger as well, i do so w/the smell of a fir tree and the sound of a fire and the beautiful presence of our christmas girl lightin up every corner of every room....
and still we wait and we long.... our christmas girl will be a big sister at some time in the (hopefully near) future. the agency called and told us we've been approved. there are a couple of logistical things josh and i have to take care of before we're "official." but hopefully we'll get those things wrapped up next week.
in the meantime, we savor every "mama, it's christmas. it's christmas, mama." yes, darlin, it is....