January 2012

One thing I know about my Emma, that I have known since the first time she tried to breastfeed at only a few minutes old, is that she is happiest when she is doing something as perfectly as she can. “If at first you don’t succeed” is not really a part of her experience. She likes to get it right the first time, no “try, try again” for this girl. Which is why I wasn’t surprised when she walked practically the first time she got up on her legs. And I didn’t worry at all when she talked a little later than some, since she was speaking in full-blown sentences within two weeks.

She has been writing her name for about a year and a half, but didn’t seem to have much interest in any letters beyond e, m and a, until the last few weeks. But that is how it is with Emma, she fools you into thinking she is paying no attention to whatever developmental milestone you think she should be hitting, until you give up. And then she hits it, right in the center of the bullseye.

She has been getting excited lately about writing and has been asking us to tell her what letters are in particular words so she can write them down. We have helped her and she has been writing words this way for a few weeks. Last Friday I came home and Emma had written this:
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Our au pair told her the letters to write and Emma wrote a short story (a poem really isn’t it?) about our weekend plans.

The next day Emma took her handy dry-erase board (thanks WP for a great birthday present!) and said “Wait Mommy, don’t look!” She ran out of the room for a few minutes, then came back and said triumphantly “LOOK!” and she had written this, with no outside help:
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I know I shouldn’t be surprised. I know kids learn how to write. I know it’s no big deal really.

But holy mackerel – how did she know how to DO that? I mean “William”??? That is NOT a short word. And “Mommy (momy)”?? How does she even know what letter that is supposed to start with? WHAT IS GOING ON HERE? Didn’t she just start walking? Didn’t she just say “lasagna” for the first time? Suddenly I feel like I am on a wondrous boat ride with Mr. Willy Wonka that has turned into a psychedelic trip down the chocolate river – “There’s no earthly way of knowing, what direction we are going…”

It’s a whole new world…

I love the holidays. I love Thanksgiving, I love Christmas, I love New Year’s, I love my birthday and Emma’s birthdays (which are all mixed up in there) and I pretty much love the month of December in it’s entirety.

Holiday Card 2011 >

I also love when the month is over and January shows up with it’s quiet calm, cold and dreary to be sure, but still and contemplative.

In the beginning of December when the tree goes up and the decorations come out and the cookie recipes are shuffled I can never imagine a time when I will be happy to have the tree gone and the wrapping paper back in its place. And yet, every January I take a deep sigh of relief. I love the celebrations and the time together – and even as we put the decorations away I can’t wait for next year. – but I also love the time I have in January to reflect on what a great time we had during the holidays, what we can do differently next year, and especially how happy and grateful I am to have had another special holiday season with my family and friends.

So, Happy New Year to you all and best wishes for a peaceful and joyous 2012.