The warm glowing light of the Christmas tree envelops the room. Pepper is tucked into her crib, a big day of visti g behind us and more to come filled with laughter and friends, more than likely some exhausted tears for the little one. Pepper is in the depths of her ‘where’s mom?’ phase. Crawling at what seems like the speed of light and pulling to stand on everything she can reach, the poor girl is plunking herself down on her head at an alarming rate these days. A thud, a cry, the clip clop of hands and knees crawling briskly to me. Climbing up for the security cuddle.
She is quick to smile whenin the safety of the carseat or moms or dads arms, but on her own in the great wide world, Pepper has begun to play strange, no doubt making for exhaustings days of scoping put the room and wondering whom to warm up to and when.
Christmas is one of my favorite times of year. I pour myself wholly into the decor, into gift giving, into carols and cookies. I love the old timey carols; I pull Pep along behind me in her sled as the snow crunches underfoot, singing in a goofy voice, Good King Wencelas and God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. The hoar frost grows ever thicker on the trees, and the wind blows tiny crackling blossoms of snow on our shoulders.
Having Pepper here with us this Christmas is such a wonderful blessing. Her sweet smiles and squeals, her wide eyed interest in the tree. The piles of gifts below it thanks to over zealous grandparents. Visits with good frinds over good food, and giggles to fill those conversational lulls. Last year i was cooking my first turkey for the family as Pepper grew in my belly. I ached for her and prayed to God every night to keep her safe. I still do, but i am oh, so grateful that she’s here in the world with us.
I recall thinking, last year, even as I waited to greet Pepper, that it might have been our first Christmas with a different little one. That would mean we’d have a toddler now. What a different path we could be walking. I still think of what could have been from time to time. The road not taken, so to speak.
Maybe the road I find myself on is less the one I chose than the one I forged of necessity. I met obstacles and paved my own way around and through them the best way i knew how.
I don’t have a one year old child this Christmas, but i do have that tiny little ones sister here. She is brilliant and lovely and full of life, and looks at me as though I’m insane while I read her Dickens and do horrible cockeny accents. Somewhere along that path that began so rocky and rough, the ground smoothed out, my footing was found, and i stumbled out into the light with a beautiful daughter in my arms.
This Christmas feels like the first of many more to come that form the ‘after’ file of the before and after section of my life. This time last year, i might have thought, before and after my miscarriage, my ‘failed pregnancy’, my first baby. Now, my perception has changed, and Maybe my world doesnt have to have such focus on the days i zeroed in on what I didn’t have and could’ve had. Maybe my days can be built around what i do have. I have a family that fills my heart to the brim. I have everything i need, and i am so grateful to have so much more. I am lucky.
i know this time of year can be so hard for those of you still awaiting your own rainbows. Im so grateful, but sending out gentle hugs to the loss moms and dads, and to those trying to build a family.
I wish you all, readers, should you still be reading after all of my slacking and failing to update, a wonderful season, and the peace and kindness your hearts all deserve.