Monday, December 27, 2010

35 Months (the second)

Christmas has come to CasaWeX and Quinn is loving it. She has an older brother who encourages her indulgences at every opportune moment so it's not very surprising that she is already aware of the yuletide spirit. She hasn't quite reached the point where she counts all of her presents (like someone else we know) but she loves to get excited and hates to be let down so the holidays has lifted her spirits.

I really love this age because she's so expressive and her energy comes from so many different angles. She loves pink but she plays with hot wheels. She loves movies so much that she gets angry when you turn it off, like you're truly disappointing her. She'll heartily eat something one day only to reject it the next. Her brother can make her cry in a moment, then a few minutes later she's making him cry because she fights back so ferociously. She has a couple of dolls that lie around but you can't get her kitty-cat out of her hands without a scream. Her nuances are so innate right now, that it's interesting to figure out what it is that is going to keep her attention at any given moment.

But she does love cats. It's such a shame that her Nonno is allergic because a little kitten would've been a really great present for Christmas this year. She told me the other day that she wanted to go to the kitty jail and look at the cats. Apparently she checked out the Humane Society's page in the newspaper that shows you all the pictures of the dogs and cats that need to be adopted. Her Nanna also has a big heart for animals and they probably sit together and pick out all of the cutest ones.

Well, since we couldn't get a real cat for Christmas, Christina did some of her magic and found the most awesome pink stuffed cat named Gaspar. It was the perfect gift, being both pink and a cat. At least that's what we thought. Quinn likes it enough but it has yet to replace her original kitty-cat and with all of the other gifts that descended upon our wonderful abode this holiday season, it seems that Gaspar has gotten a little lost in the shuffle.

The amount of presents are just one aspect of the holidays that create such frenetic tension this time of year. The party's are another. Both Christina and I have rather large families and the gatherings can expand beyond normal consciousness. We've had moments where it felt like we could hardly breathe as the chaos rang around us. Lucas and Quinn would probably love to go to all of them and gorge themselves with all the holiday cheer but there's only so much sanity that can be contained in us parents. We do what we can and this year we decided to go over to my Mom's family affair on Christmas day, something we haven't done for awhile now.

We had a moment a few years ago where we felt rejected by the theme of the season and all of its religious fervor. This is definitely not the time of year for guilt of any kind, we can get enough of that by looking back on all the things we didn't accomplish over the past year, and those dogmatic personalities who try to label everything for everyone else have the ability to push people away. Well, we left for awhile and on our way back, I started thinking about the true purpose of the season. For me, it comes down to the spirit of generosity and appreciation that is inherent in the way we embrace one another during this time of year. We share with one another and give to one another and open our homes and expand our communities. These are the aspects of the holidays that I wanted to perceive and I could feel it blooming within me as I thought about everyone in my life.

On the days that I feel like I'm a good parent, I know that I am actively participating in my children's lives. I listen to them and embrace them. I offer them opportunities to grow and learn. When we do that with the people around us, whether they be family or friends or neighbors or co-workers, then we are being good people. We are truly connecting with the spirit of the season.

The kids had fun at my Aunt's house, of course. They played with their cousins and ran around like mad little people, something I remember fondly about Christmas gatherings of the past. Quinn was the sweetest, she being the only girl amongst six boys. She kept up with them for most of the evening but whenever the boys would get swallowed up by the hand-held-game-vision thingies that everyone but our kids have nowadays, she would vanish. I found her in the playroom with the real toys, her favorite being a wood kitchen cabinet set that was just her height. It was such a beautiful moment to stand in the doorway and see her cooking up a meal for herself simply using her imagination. Guess I know what to get her for her birthday.

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