You’re not quite there, sweet Littles, but I don’t want your special day to pass without being marked in celebration, so we are going to do it early.
We opened Christmas presents this weekend, just the four of us, before all the hullabaloo starts with guests and visits. You made it magical. With each gift that you opened before you could even see what it was you would say, “Ooh! I’m so excited,” or “I can’t wait to have this.” As you tore the paper back from the gift, the excitement grew. Every present was met with your exclamation of greater delighted. “I’ve always wanted a princess book!” “This blankie of my very own is so soft!” “A game! A game! Can we open it now?”
Littles, you are always teaching me. I need you this holiday to remind me that these days are what we make of them and the perspective in which we interpret things leads to our joy. I’m going to practice opening presents like you do… fearless of disappointment and open to the unexpected.
My hope for you is that your life is lived the way you open presents… expecting the best, making each day a gift, and finding gratitude in the smallest of blessings. Momma is 36 years old and still trying to master what you make look effortless.
It’s funny, because your expectation for the best is more like making the best of whatever. I’m saddled by expectations and fear of disappointment. I find myself bracing for the worst and expending excessive amounts of energy concerned over what could be. You without a whisper of doubt announce that you can’t wait to have whatever is coming your way. I want to share your desire to find acceptance in what is given without the preconceived notions of what I need, want, or (worse) deserve.
Your enthusiasm for whatever unfolds attracts me like a moth to fire. Your freedom to live in the present is a trait that will sustain your joy. I hope that life brings you 36,500 daily gifts that you grab onto, tearing away any impediments that keep you from the contents. I hope that I never take this unique spark from you with my lists and plans and organization.
Littles, you are always finding beauty in the world around you. Whether it is the special dolphin beads on your pony bead necklace or the lip gloss shining on my mouth, you never miss a beat. It is the squeals of delight when you get to wear your favorite (or second or third or fourth favorite) outfit to school that remind me it is always a good day, because we are alive.
You may only be three, but you are a force to be reckoned with. Amidst all of the delight and letting things be, when you say no, you mean it. That word is a powerful one. While I recognize it is developmentally normal for you to learn how to exercise your will and that you don’t have the maturity yet to use it entirely appropriately, I want you to learn that is a great word for your vocabulary. I want to learn with you how to be a nice girl who knows and communicates her boundaries.
This year and every year after until my last, you will be the best Christmas gift I ever received. I’m undeserving of you, but, man, will I do everything I can to convince God it was the right thing to put you in my care. I love you to the moon and back too.