Monday, December 28, 2009

Mortimer Moves In

Christmas 2009

On tiptoe, peering through the sea of pews and rows of heads, she spotted us – her parents – and waved with her beautiful brown hand in a flurry of excitement. In fact, in the span of about 15 minutes she checked several times to see that we were still watching, each time casting small glittery reflections in the chapel as the sparkle of her holiday dress caught the light of the alter candles. This was our Devi during the children’s sermon, where all the little ones were called to the pulpit to receive a Christmas Eve message at the candlelight service. I have witnessed that waving cliche a number of times in my life, but had never allowed myself to think that one day a child might search the crowd for my proud face. Each time we experience one of these precious moments, it is a treasure. Amongst the giggles of those sitting near us, we witnessed this gentle and innocent reminder that we are a solidified family. A unit. We wonder, on that Christmas Eve, as we sat and prayed in the sanctuary, if our family might be blessed one more time in the coming year. This is our Christmas wish.

At the holiday party we hosted

Later in the service, after one small wiggly attitude adjustment in the foyer, Devi proudly held her own lit candle and belted out Away in a Manger and after extinguishing it's flame in a single breath, sang Joy to the World, both hymns that she has recently mastered. After a full day of anticipation, our traditional clam chowder dinner, gift exchange and church with Oma, Devi, twitching in exhaustion, gave up the day home bound and bundled in her car seat. In a deep sleep, with not so much as a sigh, we transitioned her from car to crib.

Santa's cookie tray

Discovering Mortimer

Awakening on Christmas morning, I could hear daddy and Devi having their good morning conversation. First out of her mouth was, “Where is mommy?” and second came, “Did Santa come and fill our stockings?” It was nice to know I still got top billing! As in previous years, she paused at the nativity to sing happy birthday to baby Jesus and then galloped out to the living room to witness a bit of Christmas morning magic. With a breathy Wwwoooowwwww!!!!! she found the empty plate where cookies for Santa once lay and her stocking overflowing with treasures. Sticking right out of the top was the little white mouse she had wished for. Devi quickly pulled him out, hugged him, kissed him on the nose and uttered, “Awwww, cute little guy!” Promptly pronouncing his name to be Mortimer, she wrapped him in Pokey, her security blanket, and for her, Christmas had come.

We both got slippers!

Our budding photographer telling us to say "cheese"!

Wallowing in our jammies until the very last second, we exchanged gifts, played games, cuddled, listened to music and ate a wonderful breakfast made complete by our neighbor Carol’s freshly baked coffee cake. She alone is personally responsible for adding a few pounds to each of our waistlines this year. Then after Devi’s nap we headed to Papa and Gail’s, their house full of extended family, for turkey dinner with all the trimmings. This is the first year, since my mom passed away December 8th, four years ago, that my dad felt comfortable putting up a Christmas tree in his home and it felt good to renew this old tradition. Most of the family is now grown, but with Devi, her cousin Jake AND Aunt Obie’s newly adopted kitten present, the excitement was kept at an ear splitting level all evening as they chased that poor animal from room to room.

Throughout the holidays, I am loving the selfLESSness and selfISHness of being three. Tenderly Devi watched others open gifts with as much excitement to know what was inside, as when she opened one tagged for herself; an innocence that I hope sticks with her as she ages. Discovering the wonderful feeling that comes with giving and receiving for the first time, I enjoyed watching as she eagerly blurted that she had made the recipient a bar of soap, before they could even make their way through the mound of tape enclosing the home made gift she had wrapped herself. Her genuine thank yous and you're welcomes came without prodding, making Pat and I feel like some of our parenting has rubbed off. It was a wonderful four days of celebration, preparing us to say our final good byes to this year and welcome the next 365 days of parenting adventure.

Devi's first time making Christmas
cookies with Oma.

This year's Christmas funnies.

1. Mommy, if we get up and Santa has not come, do we have to go back to bed?

2. For Halloween next year, I can go as baby Jesus and you can go as Mary. Daddy can be Joseph.

3. For Halloween next year, you can be Eve, Daddy can be Adam and I can be the apple because I don't like the snake.

4. Mommy, when I grow up, I'm going to be a dentist. (After watching Rudolph about 100 times)

5. I'm Hermie, daddy, you are Klondike Cornelius and mommy is the bomb-able snowman.

6. Her favorite game is to have us sing the wrong words to songs and try to trick her. IE: Harvey the green nosed lemur, had a very sticky tongue. She corrects the words and then says, "Mommy, you are silly".

7. Mommy are you a ma'am? Daddy are you a surw? Mommy are you a gurw? Daddy are you a boy?

8. If I had a nickel for every time she asks, "Why was there no rooms in the inn?"

9. She calls the grinch the grump

10. We still shout "Christmas Lights" whenever we see them and to her that still includes fast food signs.


Four..and ONE from India said...

Great Christmas pictures. I love the way you described her and your family at the Christmas eve service. Beautiful,are you sure you are not a writer?:)
Waiting on NOC for Maiya Reela
Have a great and happy new year. The Fenwick Family.

Charlotte said...

For the new 365 days, I wish you love, peace and joy;

and hope Devi's little sister come quickly.

It's the news off this year for me.

Be happy with your girls.

Traci said...

I love to read your posts! Merry Christmas and a happy new year to your family!

Anonymous said...

As always I love reading your posts and wait eagerly for each new one.I loved hearing each little detail about your Christmas together.The cute comments were so funny and sweet.She has great insight and is such a smart girl.Great pics too.I agree with someone else who said "Are you sure you are not a writer" Your posts are also so creative and makes things seem as if we were there experiencing it with you.Thanks so much for sharing and I am praying you hear soon about the newest member of your sweet family.

Peter and Nancy said...

We left this out of our Christmas letter, out of respect for the president, but Anya Rashi calls the Abominable the "obama snow monstow"! What a lovely Christmas you've had -- so glad your Dad feels more like celebrating this year.

Praying that your Christmas wish comes true . . .

jasonliberty said...

I too wait eagerly for each of your posts! You have a gift for pulling your readers in and making them feel part of your family :-) I'm so hoping for your family to blessed again with a new member in 2010!