Our legs are intertwined as we snuggle on the couch. A blanket is partially covering us, empty chocolate coin wrappers from the Advent calendar are scattered on the table next to us. Sofia has a doll on her lap and is combing her hair methodically as I read to her from a book we got at the library. A chapter book. With only a few pictures scattered inside. Sofia has been really focused on reading these past few months. She has a couple beginner reading books, and they read a chapter in a chapter book each afternoon at school. I use the library as a bribe now, and it works. She begs to go. A couple of months ago we wandered through the stacks and came to the shelves that house the collections of chapter books. Ramona is there, as is Nancy Drew, Boxcar children and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. I was a bit unsure of how Sofia would do with some of these… and then finally we came across the perfect series. Junie B. Jones. We had seen her featured in a play last year and Sofia loved it. We took a few books off the shelf and brought them home. We’ve now read them all. Sometimes two a day. Now we are on to the next series, Ivy and Bean. I love that Sofia loves to read as much as I did. As I still do but seem to never have the time.
This year has been so busy. How is it December already? Really? Only three blog posts this whole year? How is that possible… Every year at this time I make the same vow to slow down and relish the times we have, no matter how extravagant, no matter how mundane. This was my new years resolution this past year. Dolce fa niente. Sweetness in doing nothing. Snuggled up, on the couch, eating chocolate and laughing with bean. Perfection.
Growing up we would often head down to the carousel in the park. I would eye the line, trying to perfectly time where I was in line so I could on an outer horse. Once that horse was secured I would adjust the belt, practice my stance and see how far I could reach out while still holding on. I never feared falling off the horse because of the belt, each time pushing the limits on how far I could reach. The minute the carousel started moving my heart would start pounding. Then the rings would come into view. You had to time it right, reaching out at just the right time. Each time there was a successful grab and a ring was secured, it was still thrilling. It was like this every time. Every. Time. Always the same effort, always the same satisfaction.
Lately life has been a bit routine, same old same old. I clock in at work, I clock out of work. I wait for the train, I get on the train. I get to where I am going. No effort needed. Running through the motions. Perhaps that’s why there haven’t been updates in awhile. Nothing much to update about. There are decisions with work and with life that had been put off because I’ve gotten used to things coasting, things being safe, things being comfortable. I keep thinking I’ll post when something happens, but nothing was happening. I got frustrated. Why aren’t things happening? I was going through the motions, why was I not seeing results? Then it hit me. I was making no effort. I was waiting for the gold ring to just fall in my lap. Unfortunately that’s not the way it works, not sure why it took me so long to see it. Not sure why I have been so afraid to push the limits and to go for what I want. I’ve had my belt all along, my family full of support, all I have to do is make the effort.
So now I am making decisions that are a little bit uncomfortable, a little bit scary, but a whole lot exhilarating. I am adjusting my belt, my heart is pounding, and I will see how far out I can reach.
Sofia loves her some Eloise. They are so close they are like sisters. Except they don’t really fight like sisters. If Eloise doesn’t like what Sofia is doing she will either shout it at Sofia, which will make them both giggle, or she will just kind of move away from her and do her own thing. Once she is ready to be around her again she just kind of floats back in. Meanwhile Sofia the whole time is yipping away “hey Ella, over here Ella, wanna play Ella?!!!” Ella pretends not to hear but sometimes I catch a slight smile on Ella’s face like it is all part of some master plan. And with Ella, I am sure it is.
You’re in your room belting out Christmas carols. Yes, Christmas was a couple weeks ago, but who cares. To you every moment deserves a song and dance, and bedtime is no different. What a joyful world you live in. You are singing along with your cousins, and can sing a perfect version of Eloise’s “Jolly Old Saint Nicholas”, complete with her deep breathes and interpretive melody. You should be asleep by now, but I’m letting you enjoy the last few minutes of being four. You turn five tomorrow. Five. FIVE. Where did this year go? Seriously? Wasn’t it just October and I was saying I was going to get better about posting? In a blink of an eye you went from three to five it seems.
Most of the time I can’t believe you are just now turning five. The things you say, the things you think about in your small little head, the amount of love you have in your small little heart, your soul seems older than just five. But then other times you crack up over something so small and so silly and your laugh is so contagious that I can’t help but join in the belly laughing, leaving me to feel that I am the one that is five. I love that.
As you say to me every night when you go to bed, I love you more than anything. I am the luckiest person in the world because I get to be your mom. Happy birthday my sweet bean… now go to bed.