Thursday, December 22, 2016

When Christmas Would "Never" Come

I remember as a kid curling up by the Christmas tree, gazing at the twinkling lights and daydreaming about what might be inside my presents. It was one of my favorite things to do. In fact, refusing to leave the tree and come eat dinner resulted in my only memory of ever being spanked as a child.
I really loved that Christmas tree.
Back then, it felt like Christmas would never come. A month, two weeks, even a day felt like an eternity to wait. Christmas Day, bursting with excitement and laughter, leaving its trail of torn and wadded-up wrapping paper strewn all over our living room, giddy with the taste of candy and frosted sugar cookies, could never come fast enough.
Now that I am (mostly) an adult, I no longer experience that delicious Christmas anticipation. It comes all too soon. Like one day we're decked out in costumes trick-or-treating, and the next we're tip-toeing past the bedroom doors of our sleeping, sugar-crashed children, hanging up stockings and wrapping last-minute presents.
I still love Christmas. But instead of sitting and dreaming by the Christmas tree, I now express that love by creating magical memories for my children.
The joy of Christmas is doubled when you have children. I try to let them do as much as they want, remembering how much I loved every tradition. They decorate the tree a little lopsided, they dump mountains of sprinkles on the sugar cookies, they haphazardly wrap presents, they move around the figurines in the nativity scene every time my back is turned, and they insist on the same Christmas CD over and over and over.
And I love every second of it.
I love seeing their eyes light up, sharing the hope and joy of our Savior, hearing their laughter and their sweet voices singing "All I Want For Christmas is My Two Front Teeth" with Theodore the Chipmunk.
It. is. amazing.
The other day Brown-Eyed Boy complained that Christmas was never going to come. It made me smile, remembering.
I hope my children have many more years of Christmases that will "never" come.

As for my feelings on Santa Clause, well, that's a post for another day.
Merry Christmas!
The Brown-Eyed Girl

Friday, December 16, 2016

Baby Brown Eyes

Baby Brown Eyes was born shrieking at the top of her lungs.

I think it was an omen of things to come.

My other two children didn't make a peep when they were born. Even Blue Eyed Girl, who was born breech, didn't cry until they gave her a bath. When Brown Eyed Boy was born, we were encouraged to make him cry so he could clear his lungs out.

Like that was going to happen.

But Baby Brown Eyes was not happy about her entrance into the bright, cold world and she wanted everyone to know about it. She screamed and cried until the nurses finally returned her to my arms and she was able to nurse.

Even now, over a year later, she is still a screamer. She screams when her siblings take her toys. She screams when we change her diaper. She screams when we tell her no and sometimes just when we put her down.

She is even known to scream randomly, out of the blue, while sitting quietly in her high chair.

She is having no problems asserting herself as the third child.

Do you remember me posting about how easy having two kids was?

Well having three is not easy.

To be fair, I was warned. People told me how hard things get when the kids outnumber the parents. But man, were they right.

The first year of Baby Brown Eyes' life I was a frazzled mess. Meeting her baby needs (and silencing her screams) was exhausting when coupled with helping Brown Eyed Boy with his copious amounts of kindergarten homework (he has less now that he's in first grade--how does that make sense?), cleaning up Blue Eyed Girls' potty-training mishaps, and doing basic things like making meals. I constantly felt wrapped in guilt for all the times I lost my patience or had to put off play time with the older kids to take care of the baby.

Thank goodness for prayer. And my husband. And countless tender mercies and moments of joy each day that made the hard times bearable.

Things are a little easier now. Although now Brown Eyed Baby steals her siblings toys and runs away from me in public places, so every age brings new challenges.

But when I think about how empty our lives would be without her--and how quiet--I wouldn't have it any other way.

Motherhood is awesome,
The Brown-Eyed Girl

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Running the Red Light

I am so good at pointing out other people's flaws.

Especially when I'm driving.

Because of course all the other drivers are the ones making the mistakes--cutting me off, driving too slow, taking my turn at the stop sign.

I don't make mistakes driving.

^^I bet Mr. Brown Eyes would get a good laugh out of that.^^

My perspective changes when I'm on the other end of things, when I'm the driver being yelled at instead of the one doing the yelling.

For instance:

There is a traffic light near my parents' house that is right in front of an freeway overpass. Just beyond the overpass is another light. For some reason, when I'm at the front of the line waiting at the red light, I sometimes look at the light beyond the overpass instead of the one right in front of me.

So when that light turns green, I think I am good to go.

Which is exactly what I did the other day. Go. I mean, went. And the cars coming off the freeway honked at me. And I felt stupid. And I had to admit, to my perfect driver self, that even I make mistakes.

Just like everyone else.

Owning that fact makes it easier to be just a little more patient the next time someone cuts me off.

But it's a truth that applies in all facets of life, not just driving. None of us are perfect. So let's be as gentle with other people's flaws as we would like them to be with ours.

I'll go first.

I mean, when the light turns green.

Still learning,
The Brown-Eyed Girl