Thursday, December 17, 2009

What It Boils Down To

As a bit of an introduction, I'm Kalli. Emily asked me a few months ago to contribute a little something here at Bloom and after going through the seven stages of indecision and procrastination (what? you haven't heard of those?) I finally managed put something relatively coherent together for today. You can find me over at my home spot, My Life as a Kalli, where I write more about my quest to overcome the problems I have with pinchy underwear and my daily addiction to sweatpants.

It's my second Christmas as a mom.

This time around my baby boy isn't a baby anymore. No, instead he's transformed into a little man child who walks runs, babbles earnestly in conversations no one understands but him, tells me "no" emphatically, whose car seat could be compared to a graveyard where crackers go to die, who streaks through the house bare naked before bath time, who knows exactly what he does and does not like, who cheeses for the camera, slaps me in the face, pulls my hair, pokes me in the eye, and reminds me daily that I am nothing more than a novice at this motherhood gig.

Navigating the holidays with a 16 month old has been relatively smooth sailing thanks to a bit of extra planning. The tree was decorated specifically with damage control in mind. All breakable ornaments placed near the top, plastic balls and other less valuables hung nearer to the bottom. Nativities have been placed strategically, the wooden one on the more accessible entry table, the two actual fragile ones up high on the mantle. All garlands have been anchored, wreaths freed from dangled ribbon temptations, and gifts wrapped up double with sturdy tape and sans shiny, attention grabbing bows or baubles. Shopping trips have been carefully mapped, consolidated and executed with as much precision as doing such things with a toddler will allow.

Holidays managed. Potential crises of time, efforts, and resources avoided.

Except there's a bit more to it than just getting my festive ducks in a row.

It's engraving in my memory what it feels like to stare out the window with him, his eyes glowing in wonder at the tree decorated brightly with several strands of lights, hung carefully by a doting grandfather. It's laughing at my boy's concerted efforts to permanently kidnap the nativity oxen. It's enjoying the fact that he has as much of a holiday sweet tooth as I do, if not a more serious case. It's taking the time to put my pathetic sewing skills to use to craft a few wonky creations to stuff in his stocking. It's remembering to photograph his fat little sausage legs stuffed tightly into Christmas jammies. It's deferring to his daddy when it comes to picking out the absolute perfect gift for Santa to deliver. It's feeling pleasantly surprised when pulling his stocking out of storage because I forgot how much I love it and the fact that I had his name embroidered across the cuff. It's making sure I take care of details like writing the year on the bottom of his ornament for the tree, the second in his life collection. It's anticipating Christmas Eve with the cousins on one side and Christmas Day with the cousins on the other, wrapping paper everywhere, food, noise and the sounds of happiness ringing through my consciousness. It's appreciating my Father in Heaven for answering my prayers two holiday seasons ago with the knowledge that a baby was on his way and a blessing with the assurance that all would be well, for His son who made it possible for us to a family forever.

It's reveling in the fact that I get to do this for many years to come, that the holidays, and my life in general, are so much more complete now that I have this wonderful little person around to bring things full circle.

It's drinking in every second of it that I can. Especially the part where we sit in the overstuffed brown chair, him tucked comfortably into the hollow of my shoulder and neck, thumb in mouth, my cheek on his head. I softly hum 'Silent Night' until his breathing slows, his arm falls limp, and we rock and rock and rock to sleep.

So much more than managing my shopping list, baking up a frenzy, or strategically decorating my home in all of it's seasonal finery...

that friends


is what Christmas is to me.


Happy Holidays to you!


13 comments:

lori said...

Very sweet post! Thanks for sharing these meaningful snatches of your life. Fills me with real Christmas spirit. =)

Laura said...

Awe, that was beautiful!!

Sue said...

This is beautiful Kalli - made me have to go snatch up my sleeping baby to give him a kiss. It goes by so fast. Christmas is so much more fun with little kids :>

sue-donym said...

Beautifully said.

codik said...

Beautiful enough for Tears. Thank You

Camille said...

Very well-written! You have a way with words, Kalli!

Bloom said...

Well said, Kalli. And what a great reminder. I have a habit of getting swept up in the holiday to-do list; thanks for the inspiration to focus on what is real.

anne

Abbie said...

Christmas is way more fun (and way more crazy!) with babies! Thanks for this. So sweet.

ForeverYou said...

What a lovely post...! I love the pic of you both!

natalie said...

Beautiful picture Miss Kalli, and beautiful post. You're one of my favorite people.

AzĂșcar said...

Christmas is way more fun with babies.

Stef said...

Beautiful!

Kelsey K. Hartley said...

Loved it Kalli!