Once again my daughter is teaching me that the world does not revolve around me. It is a very difficult lesson, one in which I sulk at times. Give me a little bit of a break. I have only been a parent for 2 years and was living blissfully unaware (okay..occasionally aware) of my selfish nature for 30 years prior. Some of you may scoff and others will understand my story.
You see, each year since we have been dating, my husband and I have bought each other a Christmas ornament. We only put those ornaments on our tree, and a few gold ball ornaments. Michaela was added to the tradition when she was born. We open our ornaments on the Feast of St. Nicholas (Dec 6th) and then set them aside until Gaudete Sunday. It is little addition we made to that Feast Day in our home. So far, the ornament selections have been quite lovely. I like the religious ornaments, but we do have some wintry ornaments as well.
Tonight my husband, daughter, and I decided to go to Walmart to try to find some purple Advent candles since ours melted in the attic over the summer. We also thought we would see what kind of ornament we should get for Michaela. We found 4 purple candles, they were out of pink. My apologies to Gaudete Sunday. The ornament selection did not leave much to be desired. I was going to compromise on a Disney Princess ornament because it had Rapunzel on it, but then…my husband pulled out this:
Those of you have a toddler know what happened next. She loved it! It was the greatest ornament on the planet. Nothing could compare. I tried. I showed her the Disney Princess ornament. She ignored it. I tried a jingle-bell snowman. It could not hold a candle to this gaudy pink dog. I sighed. My husband turned to me and said, “The ornaments are supposed to represent who she is right now.” I knew he was right. Her two favorite things right now are doggies and Pinkalicious. It’s like Walmart knew this and made an ornament just for her, and other toddlers.
You would have had to know me before I got married. I liked a matching Christmas Tree. Something that was color coordinated and had beautiful ribbon swirling down the sides. It was always topped with a beautiful angel. This is one of those things I abandoned in favor of a new tradition with my husband. However, it still sneaks out at times. This being one of those times. I now just admire those types of trees in my Southern Living magazine.
This is another great lesson that motherhood has taught me. It just is not about me anymore. It never really was actually. Instead, it is about what makes my daughter happy. If she selects an ugly ornament, it will be a story we can share later. I will always remember this ornament and the Christmas she was 2 years old. She will grow up way to fast. I already have to catch my breath some days.
This experience also made me stop and wonder when I got so boring. Childhood is such a magical time and I forget that sometimes. It is a time when my daughter just knows what she likes and does not have the world telling her what to like. It is a time of imagination, learning, and wonder. It is a time for pink dogs and little girls who eat too many cupcakes and turn pink.
I may have grumbled in the store, but I will happily help her place this ornament on our Tree in the coming weeks. It is hers and it will hold many memories. And we can haul it out when she is a cranky teenager. I hope you are having a blessed Advent.
What are some ornaments your kids have picked out that you have had to put on your Tree over the years?
P.S. We are really trying to live out Advent right now and minimize Christmas. The Feast of St. Nicholas is Friday, so we wanted to be prepared.