It’s December eve. Our fridge is stocked with ham and we’ve spent the day cleaning, clearing, purging, cosying — a gesture that welcomes the final month of the year with a yes, we are ready.
Tomorrow morning, our advent will begin and our Hiccup will return and we’ll do our best to slow right down and soak right up and light candles and play music with breakfast and read that extra book before bedtime and be right here, exactly where we are.
“Mummy, do giraffes have chins?”
“Mummy, how do butterflies sleep?”
“Mummy, can dogs cry?”
The questions, the noise, the mess, the fighting — we struggle, oh we struggle, but this is the stuff of dreams. Of little ones under our roof and the innocence of butterfly questions and the deafening pulse of family. And all of it, all the effort I go to this month to make things rich, it’s nothing but leverage. It’s one big climb to the top: to those moments at Christmas I sit back and let myself fall into the family I come from, however imperfectly they fit me, to seeing the good, to watching my darling babies embraced by this beating heart of grandparents and brothers and sisters and friends turned family.
We’re living the dream; the love of family the jugular vein, holding blood and life around the world a million times over.
Celebrating some small happies in tonight’s post and settling into the rhythm of family.
“Ten times a day something happens to me like this – some strengthening throb of amazement – some good sweet empathic ping and swell. This is the first, the wildest and the wisest thing I know: that the soul exists and is built entirely out of attentiveness.” ― Mary Oliver
All is quiet (read: time to worry) and I stumble upon this.
“We’re doing face-paints, Mummy!” she says proudly.
Grateful they were water paints.
Fridays with my just my boy.
The boy loves bananas. All he wants for Christmas are bananas.
Doesn’t love waking up from his day sleep so much.
We lure him out of his grumpy mood with the promise of bananas.
Friday post-bath movie nights.
I went to bed the other night and found these three pom poms on my bedside table, all in a perfect row. This has Ella’s name all over it and it just made me insanely happy, these tiny treasures, these tiny marks of simple childhood in my home. Sometimes when I see things like this, my mind takes me to that awful place where I imagine she was snatched, taken from me, dead and I suddenly can’t breathe. These pom poms are like her signature, her saying “I was here” and I don’t think I could bear the sight of them if something were to happen to her.
The love of family, man. Jugular vein.
Next week is her last class so I’m doing my best to soak up her wonky plies and twirls.
And this — her running to her brother in her sip-of-water break and using the time instead for a quick hug.
My heart can barely stand it. And my ovaries? Somebody slap me.
…Us watching her from the side.
That curl I *accidentally* forgot to cut.
Joel’s brother and sister-in-law won’t be with us this Christmas so we celebrated early before they leave.
Ella and Billy’s cousin baby Ollie is the cutest thing you’ve ever seen. We love him so.
Obligatory cousin cheesy photo in front of the tree!
And in exciting news, the kids got some new pool toys from their grandparents, an early Christmas present.
My brother’s girlfriend Sophia has been bumped from position and Crocodile and Shark are now the most favourite family members.
And that brings us to the last night of November. Happy December eve. Go love on your people. Light some candles. Say yes.