It is that time of year for sentimentality. Admittedly, I put the Christmas music on last week and started humming uncontrollably to "Jingle Bells." Holiday recipes swirl in my head and I imagine my house festooned with twinkling lights, lush ribbon and filled with the perfume of a log fire and holiday cookies. I also can't help but imagine how the holidays will amaze, delight and captivate the wonder of my little girl.
I'm in awe of Bean's capacity to entertain herself. Every toy that she has, she calls her "guys" or her "friends" and she is constantly telling them stories. I love hearing things that I've said to her come out of her little mouth. "Don't pick you nose Cookie Monster!" "Why are you frustrated Bear?" "I'll make it all better with a kiss Telly Monster!" Sometimes, she asks me to go away so she can have privacy to play in her own world. I'll find a spot nearby where I can watch her, but she can't see me and eavesdrop on these private conversations only to reveal long secret conversations about cookies or the playground. Eventually, Bean will catch my eye and we both fall into giggles and I scoop her up into my embrace.
To Bean, every sidewalk ledge is a balance beam which she climbs onto and then sticks her airplane arms out and clutches my hand while she carefully walks the length proudly. Every stick that she finds becomes a magic wand or a broom that she simply must have. My car is littered with sticks that she had to bring home to show Dada. Every rock is a treasure to her and she holds the rock in her hand, remarking on its color until she finds another more interesting rock and then the old rock goes in her pocket or mine. Leaves of every color and size fascinate her and get treated with same reverence that she reserves for rocks.
I've loved every stage that Bean went through, from the sleepy, drooley newborn days to the those first steps of tumbling everywhere, but this stage of personhood challenges me daily, but also amazes me. She is less and less my baby, and more and more my little girl. I don't want to rush this stage, even if it means coming out the other side with a fully potty trained child (another post for another day). Watching her explore her world and discover small details that I've been too rushed to notice brings me joy every day.
So on this day of Thanksgiving, I'm thankful for every off key version of "My Favorite Things" sung by Bean. I'm thankful for this child who teaches me every day. I'm thankful for her health. I'm thankful for her doctors. I'm thankful for her teachers that inspire her everyday in and out of the classroom. I'm thankful for the home we are building together. I'm thankful for my family and my friends who restore sanity to me on a daily basis. And I'm thankful to my husband for loving me more every day.