The tree is down. As are the rest of the Christmas decorations. I see My Guy carefully folding the paper ornament banner and ask, “Are we keeping that?”
He shrugs, “Why not?”
“We could make something else next year?” I offer weakly.
“I like this one.” And so he continues to carefully fold them and stuff them into a bag. I like that answer, so I don’t argue. Of all the crafts we did last year, this is a favorite of mine because everyone in our family had a hand in it. Even Thumper, who napped through the process, thus giving us the time we needed to complete the project. An important contribution, if you ask me.
With the last container snapped shut, and the furniture back in its place after having to move them around to make room for our tree that ate the living room, the celebration season (the holidays flanked by two birthdays, Little Miss’ and My Guy’s) is finally over.
Things are inching back to normal. Except the normal now looks a little different than the normal prior to the holiday frenzy.
For one, four-year-old Little Miss can now read! Granted, it’s two- to three-letter words and short sentences, but she’s making progress. If you could have only seen the sunshine on her face when she managed an entire sentence (all three words!) on her own; it was priceless.
She’s been sounding letters on her own since she was three, and because she was never taught to read in preschool, she never thought she could. Until one day last month, when I casually asked her to give it a shot during our quiet time together.
As a reader myself, my heart was caught in my throat when she began to form the words herself. All I could think of was how much closer she was to “Harry Potter”(!) “Anne of Green Gables”(!) “The Faraway Tree”(!), a series by my favorite British author of children’s novels, Enid Blyton.
I know, I’m jumping the gun here. “Dot sat on his cat” is a long way off from Hogwarts, but can you blame this lifelong reader for being excited? All of the books I devoured as a child will someday be in her little hands, and those worlds I frequented will soon be her regular haunts. Well, one can hope anyway, as she is part My Guy after all and may end up a gamer instead.
Not to be outdone by her sister, 19-month-old Thumper decided to reach into her own bag of tricks and started to count to ten on her own - a feat that shocked even me, who spends all day with her, as I didn’t think she knew it until I watched her put aside her board books, counting each one with surprising accuracy, on Christmas morning.
She also now knows the words to the songs, “ABC” and “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”, and is on her way to master “Are you Sleeping,” and Laurie Berkner’s, “Moon, Moon, Moon,” all of which are part of her nightly repertoire of lullabies.
As if those weren’t enough to outshine her big sister, Thumper also has her colors down. Well, all but yellow. And fuschia. And teal. And ochre. You know what I mean. Needless to say, with Little Miss’ girlie-girl influence, the first colors she started to recognize and say were pink (“peet”) and purple (“puhpl”), followed by blue (“boooo”), green (“geen”), red (“waed”) and orange (“inch”).
Thankfully, she decided on “puhpl” as her favorite color, so now, whenever she sees something pink, she takes them to her sister and offers it to her sweetly and hangs on to all things purple like the winning lottery ticket. Amazingly, that also means, no fighting! Well, at least not over that one thing. That leaves them with only 739 things they can fight about. Yay.
As for My Guy, well, he went into the holidays a twenty-something and came out a thirty-year-old. That’s not just a milestone; it’s a frickin’ boulder! So far, he’s rocking the new decade. Yes, all five days of it.
In other news, I ran 10 miles today. My first double-digit miler. With the sun in my face, it felt absolutely incredible. Every step felt right, and the best part was when the song, “Good Feeling” by Flo Rida, came on Pandora right after I stopped running. So I decided to dance the rest of my way home.
So yes, normal looks a little different in 2013, but like the song says:
Oh, sometimes, I get a good feeling...
I get a feeling that I never never never knew I had before, no no
I get a good feeling...
Yeah I got a brand new spirit,
Speak it and it's done
Woke up on the side of the bed like I won...
I know, I can’t believe I just quoted a pop song here either. But you know what? This is 2013. It’s a brand new year, and I just ran 10 miles when four months ago, I couldn’t even run one. I am certainly optimistic. For growth, for change.
Anything is possible.
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What are you looking forward to in 2013?