Last Days

 

We keep Christmas all the way through Christmastide until Epiphany around here. I suspect I’ll post our menu for Twelfth Night (January 5th) and I will be very sad when our tree comes down on the 7th.

In the meantime, we’re still enjoying the Season – warm fires and our grandmother’s teeny-tiny, brass candlesticks (filled with red candles, rather than my customary blue or white) on the mantle. I like the mood of this picture, but it kind of cracks me up, too – maybe it’s the little Korean horse’s snout on the bottom right – or maybe it’s the fact that Spectre’s stocking is bigger than anyone else’s.

Treatise

 

Today is the day most of us head back to work (a great many among my friends actually started back yesterday – but we had the benefit of one last, long weekend), and with the old routine comes the old habits. Gotta get up, get going, and rush through life.

No more for me.

I did a lot of thinking over the holiday, and realized a few things – some were jarring and sudden, and some things? Well, they just crept in gently, over and over, until I finally had to perform the mental equivalent of “Oh, all right, already! I’ll do it!”

The jarring realization was that I now have the responsibility not just for this little new person’s physical care (even I didn’t have to be hit over the head for that one) but that it’s for life – mine, anyway. That was the impetus behind my New Year’s post. I just want to be the kind of mother she can look back on when she’s my age and think, “Wow, I’m really glad she was the one God chose for me.” When you adopt, it’s a heavy responsibility to earn not just the right to that new role of parent you’ve been given – but also to earn the sacrifice of the birthmother’s trust and confidence.  I take both responsiblities very, very seriously.

The silent and persistent messages were ones we all know, really. They’re ones that I feel a bit silly posting because they can seem trite and a bit stuffy, so I thought I’d put the explanation behind my version:

1. People who get up early are more productive. {Sigh}. We all know this, don’t we? To put it in a post-modern flavor: “I am sooooooo not a morning person.”  But.  Skye is. ;)   So, to get a jump on the day, I’ve got to get up earlier.  It’s time to read, reflect, write a bit in my journal and prepare our day.

2. Alcohol truly should be a “special occasion” drink for some (like me).  I’ve explained that I quit drinking back in August 2010 for a lot of reasons, but they were mostly spiritual.  As I looked back over my journal for that year, I realized that the morning I decided to finally follow what I believed to be God’s leading was August 18th, 2010. Folks, that was a year, exactly, before our daughter entered the world. She was born in early morning, too. It kind of gives me chill-bumps when I think about it.  There were a few times over this vacation when I drank – it was a holiday full of special days like my brother’s birthday, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day – and each morning the next day I felt fuzzy and cloudy.  It’s fine for me to have that feeling every now and then, but I definitely am happy with my choice to refrain, especially now that Skye’s around and needs a clear-headed mama.

3. Discipline is good for you.  I like the idea that blogging, if I were to do it every day, is an exercise in “creative discipline.”  I borrow that term from one of my favorite bloggers, Anna, who is fantastic about daily updates. She’s an artist with fabric and I’m not, but I like the challenge of finding the beauty in the mundane, as John puts it.  We’ve got that around here, so I just need to find it.  I tinkered with the idea of joining Max’s Positivity Pledge, but that’s only available to FaceBook users.  I would like to use the more personal platform of my blog because I’ve (sort of) kept it going for awhile, and would like to continue.  Besides, if I post every day, it’s a way for me to look back on the last year and see it as a record of Skye’s earliest days, which are so fleeting.

4. Shower the people you love with love.*  On New Year’s Day, I took this picture -

- and it was almost just an “Aw, that’s a sweet moment” fire-and-forget snapshot. But as I looked back through my photos of the holiday last night, this one stands out to me as the most meaningful.  They are my two favorite people, after all, and this picture speaks to me of complete dependence, on the one hand, and complete devotion, on the other.  I woke up this morning with the thought in my head that even if there are only a few folks who read this, it doesn’t matter.  I write this for our little family – and our little family means everything to me.

Take Care Friends.  My wish for you in 2012: That beauty will find you, every day.

*James Taylor