One of the most amazing things about my first Christmas as an adoptive mom is getting to witness my daughter experience everything for the very first time. And through her bright, dark eyes I am given the incredible gift of getting to see everything for the first time – again. Through these new lenses the simplest things become fascinating, the mundane becomes wondrous. And during my first Christmastime as a mom I am finding a whole new joy and meaning in the season.
Thoughts of how I’d ever be able to juggle caring for our daughter and doing everything that comes with getting ready for the holidays – baking, decorating, Christmas carding, etc., had send my stress level soaring. But my daughter has bestowed upon me one of the greatest gifts anyone can receive – the gift of “here and now-ness.” For all of us struggling to be more present in our lives there is nothing like watching an infant marvel at Christmas lights or grin at the sound of Jingle Bells. With no sense of time, my daughter can only live in the moment – experiencing the beauty of the world around her completely and without judgment. It was with this in mind that I took to all of my Christmas preparations this year. Suddenly, so many of the must-dos and should-dos on my list in years past – all of those things that seemed so essential for creating a perfect Christmas – no longer seemed worth doing at all. Instead, I am savoring every moment of Mommy’s 1st Christmas.
Decorations this year are minimal, but all of the lights seem to shine brighter. New Dollar Store stockings decorated with glue and glitter (rather sloppily) are the most wonderful ever because of the names on them. My “Melissa” stocking has been retired and my new “Mommy” stocking now hangs happily beside my daughter’s. Wrapping gifts took a lot longer because we took breaks to see what crinkling wrapping paper felt like and sounded like. It became a new-found pleasure.
Great gifts really do come in small packages. At 4 months old, our tiny 12-pound dumpling has been the bearer of a mighty gift. It’s a gift I’ll cherish forever and from now on strive to hold on to. Merry Christmas – here and now!