A minute ago I was putting away all the decorations and toys and gifts that amassed over Christmas and then I just stopped to rest my eyes for a second and BAM! It's Christmas again.
Because today was Bella's annual Christmas concert at her daycare, and because it's been a little slow at the office, I decided to take some time this afternoon for a brisk stroll down
Bloor Street memory lane.
When I look back at that post from around a year ago and compare it to how things went down at the sing-a-long today, I'm am struck with the many similarities between the child I had a year ago and the child I have today.
This year she still spent a good deal of time clinging to me, and she still got overwhelmed (to the point of sobs) when Santa appeared at the window. She still retreated into herself, her shyness and anxiety getting the better of her little body and complex mind, even though I know that leading up to the party this year she was very excited to dance and sing-along. In fact, she'd been practicing and talking about it for close to a month.
She still refused to sit for a picture with the fat man, preferring instead to watch intently from the sidelines and loyally cheer on all her braver and more out-going friends. Except this year not only could I not convince her to go talk and sit with him, but I couldn't even carry her over there because she's too big and her fight and will is just too powerful. So this is our picture
And me, the fierce protector, did not push her to do any of the things that she was hesitant to do. But I did gently encourage her. I did try to tell her that it's okay to take a little risk. To let loose a little and get up with her friends for a song and a dance. Because encouraging her to break out of her shell is protecting her in some ways too. I want so badly for the wonderful, happy, boisterous little girl -- who we get to enjoy in private-- to learn to get past her public fears and stresses. Because I was that same little girl once upon a time and though it took me a million years, I know how amazing it feels when you finally break free. I wanted her to have the moment that she'd been preparing for all month.
And you know what? She kind of did. Although there were a lot of similarities this year to last, there were also some great advancements for my beautiful little girl. Still reserved. Still quiet. But out there. Off my lap. The clinging a little less firm, the glances my way for assurance a little less frequent.
Behold, my Bella, my beauty, my serious, special girl. Doing it up at the Christmas party in her own preciously furtive fashion:
I wish that every one of you gets a moment to let loose this holiday season. Merry Christmas from my family to yours.