I love this time of year. True, I still haven’t come down from my Thanksgiving tryptophan high. And yes, I love watching the claymation Christmas specials on TV as much if not more than my kids. And of course, Christmas itself is extra wonderful when you experience it through your children. But what really puts it over the top for me is my daughter’s spirit and energy this time of year.
You see, Ella Luree’s birthday is December 20th. She was our little Christmas miracle – literally – 6 years ago. It’s funny because one of things we were worried about back then was that she would feel gypped with her birthday and Christmas so close to each other. But my little girl has a zest for life and an innate ability to look on the bright side of things (a trait she gets directly and in full force from her mother). She doesn’t feel gypped at all. In fact, she turns the whole month of December into a full fledged festival with herself at center stage. Even Santa, as far as she’s concerned, is only on the playbill in a supporting role.
I delight in her enthusiasm and excitement, even when it tires me out! For example, just the other night she was bouncing off the walls as we were trying to get her and Cade to wind down and go to bed. Exasperated, I raised my voice, “Ella, PLEASE calm down and get your pajamas on.” She stopped, looked up at me with her big brown eyes and said sweetly, “I’m sorry Daddy, I know I’m acting crazy but I just can’t help it because I’m so excited about my birthday!” My heart melted, my exasperation vanished, and I laughed out loud as I picked her up and hugged and kissed her. Of course to that she shouted, “kisses are gross!” and wriggled away from me.
Truth be told, I adore her. She and I share the closest senses of humor in the family. When one of us is playing around, or being sarcastic, or just acting silly, the other catches on and joins right in without missing a beat. And speaking of beats, Ella marches to her own drummer. Always has and I’m sure, always will. She knows what she wants and doesn’t let anything stand in her way. I really respect her for that but I can see a certain amount of pain ahead, too. At least for me. I want to protect and guide her. Yet I know she’s her own person and what’s more, SHE knows she’s her own person. If her ideas and mine don’t line up, she’s perfectly confident dismissing me and going off on her own… and she’s only 5! What’s it going to be like when she’s 15!?
So I love December. An already pretty cool month got even better when it gave me my daughter. And now I get to experience it through the eyes of a joyful little girl who loves life, loves her birthday, and squeezes absolutely everything out of December each and every year.