We had a long night last night. The kind that begins with a fountain of puke falling from a surprised toddler’s mouth and passes slowly with a feverish child whimpering as she clings to you. The kind that leaves you whispering, “Oh thank God,” when the sun finally rises.
But while I lay awake, twisted in an unnatural position, arm screaming from the lack of blood flow on the other side of the toddler’s surprisingly heavy head, I had a lot of time to think.
And what I spent the most time pondering was how quickly time is actually passing.
While last year’s Christmas videos show Tori happily, if not altogether understandably, singing “winkle, winkle little tar,” this year she’s making up her own songs – songs that usually involve cupcakes and the park.
She’ll be taking her first dance class in January (something she’s been begging to do for the last six months). Last year at this time, she couldn’t even manage a single jump.
She’s using the potty. Sometimes. When she feels like it. It won’t be long until diapers disappear forever (knock on wood).
In other words, she’s left the realm of babyhood and is well on her way to becoming Big. Something she can’t wait to do. She’s becoming her own person – one who doesn’t always want her mom around.
In fact, her favorite phrase seems to be, “Go away!” followed by “Don’t look at me!”
She’s picking out her own outfits, choosing her own snacks, and God help you if you try to do something for her without letting her try to do it herself first.
She’s even got a best friend (one who just left her and moved to Korea, but that’s a story for another day).
I’m pretty sure that if I blink, she’ll be going to Kindergarten. And if I dare to close my eyes, when I open them she’ll be driving. And if I stop paying attention for a few minutes? It’ll be time to plan her high school graduation.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of adventures she’ll have as she grows up. I’m excited to see what kind of person she turns into. I just never thought it’d go this fast.
I guess that’s why, every time we read The Spirit of Christmas, I find myself fighting back tears:
“And so then, my darling, wherever you roam, may you always be safe…may you always come home.
For as long as the world still spins and still hums, wherever you are and no matter what comes,
the best part of Christmas will always be…you beneath my Christmas tree.”
What can I say? Christmas makes me sappy.