Karen over at Baking in a Tornado has kindly put together a group of 15 fabulous bloggers to participate in a Secret Subject Swap.
Christine from Moore Organized Mayhem has asked me to write about my favorite memory of the holiday season. The following is my response:
It’s near impossible for me to pick just one favorite memory from the holidays. My favorite memory is a general feeling of not being stressed out. Not feeling like I’m forgetting to exhale for a few days. Not feeling like my life is passing me by and taking time to notice the small moments that I’ll forever cherish of my family. I capture all of my favorite memories in life on mental 8 mm. The reels may be tangled in my brain, but they’re all in there.
We go a really long time in-between taking pictures of our kid because nothing “eventful” is happening. I simply forget to pull the camera out, during day-to-day activities. Most of our pictures (and there are a lot of them) occur in droves. It’s her birthday; let’s take 200 pictures of her. She’s in the Nutcracker; let’s take another 200 pictures of her. In the same way, I think the holidays are full of many 8 mm moments all captured within a few days…in my mind.
It’s as if I’ve been walking around like a zombie with a broken lens since Halloween and I’ve found the antidote, but it only lasts a few days. I know there’s very little time, so I try to stash away everything I can find. I almost overdose on being human.
My 8mm memories are all everyday things, but since my brain isn’t on overdrive and I’m not constantly distracted by chores, the blogosphere or another writing project, I actually see them. It’s similar to being in-between projects at work. Everyone works overtime for several weeks and after the release of the product, everyone comes in late and leaves early for a few days. Sometimes, people even take a few days off. This is the time where I create all of my 8 mm, holiday montages.
Babyface has picked up some new phrases that she sometimes sets on repeat. Her facial expressions are so animated and distinct that even on mute I can tell what she’s saying. A few highlights in my montage:
“Mommy, that’s not how my story goes.”
Her answer to all, upcoming events that she disagrees with, like brushing her teeth, going potty, washing her hands or picking up her toys. I wish this one would work on Hubs.
“You pooted! You pooted! You pooted!”
Yes, she’s going through the poot, poo poo and pee pee discussion phase. Any of these words used in a sentence is like the greatest punch line she’s ever heard. This phase has lasted much longer than I’d like. And, Hubs is often the instigator. Many times, I’m convinced I have two children.
“[Insert any sentence here]…fa la la la la, la la la la…”
She’s a lyricist, but the words are always accompanied by a Christmas tune. Deck the Halls being her favorite, go-to tune.
Another memory of the holidays is watching Babyface do things without caring what others think about her. It’s one of the greatest gifts kids contain. I often wonder when our conscience first surfaces. There’s that trite cliché, by William W. Purkey, which was trendy a few years ago. The saying that was repeated, as often as Corinthians at a wedding.
“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,
Love like you’ll never be hurt,
Sing like there’s nobody listening,
And live like it’s heaven on earth.”
At age 4, in her 8 mm montage, Babyface dances like Elaine from Seinfeld, whenever she feels like it: at home, in grocery stores, at parties and at school. Her love is still unconditional and innocent. She never turns down the need for a hug and always reciprocates an “I love you”. Most importantly, her mind is not cluttered, so she always remembers to be thoughtful.
We’ve already discovered that she likes to sing her own words to Christmas songs. Sometimes her voice is in tune and sometimes it isn’t. She’s not tone deaf, but she doesn’t care if she doesn’t sound perfect or whether anyone else is watching her. When she’s singing, the world around her ceases to exist.
She is in heaven on earth, everyday of her life. And, Christmas is like heaven on crack for her. It’s like the greatest sugar rush without overdosing into Type 2 Diabetes. She jumps up and down, before and after doing crafts. She twirls in circles with her arms out wide, like Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music. And, the look on her face, when she opened her presents is the greatest ending to my holiday montage. She still believes in things that our minds are too tainted to even wonder about.
My favorite holiday memory is waking up, watching my daughter and really seeing who she is. I could lose every material picture or movie of her, but my mental 8mm reels will always be stored away safely in my mind.