Last night we went to our first “Christmas Pageant”. The Girl sang a little song with her other first grade friends. The Middle One was a perfect audience member and The Baby stayed home with his sitter. We learned our lesson about him at the dance recital.
The Girl was adorable. I sold a few skin care products (at a playdate-gotta love it!) so at the last minute we had a bit of cash and found a dress at JC Penney that fit right into our budget so she actually had new duds. Thank you MK and JC Penney for not making my girl look like Punky Brewster at her Christmas pageant. (She is prone to crazy legging/shirt combinations these days that make her look a lot like my favorite girl named after the sun.)
The performance was adorable and mercifully short so we took them for ice-cream after. It was great. I felt in the moment like this is exactly what we planned when we first decided to have kids. The show. The ice-cream treat. The whole nine yards. I imagined these moments all those years ago and they turned out to meet my expectations.
When we got home and got everyone to bed, The Husband and I just stopped for a minute and smiled at each other. There was so much in that smile. There was awe-that despite how we sometimes feel, we are actually doing this kinda right. There was humour in remembering those two 19 year old kids who started this “thing” together totally ignorant to what lay ahead. There was gratitude to one another-for the sheer act of partnering in this building process.
There are so many moments as a parent that we struggle and question ourselves. There are even sometimes a few moments where we quietly wonder what if we never went down this path. There are so many moments where The Husband and I are too busy with day to day junk (and sometimes there’s a lot of not-so-great junk) to see how great our lives are.
Last night we permitted ourselves just that. After the initial shock that we were the parents, not the students, at the Catholic School Christmas Pageant, we gave ourselves over to just enjoying the seeds we had sown. We allowed ourselves pride at watching our Girl. We accepted the compliments to our very well behaved kids of the restaurant wait staff-without apology or modesty. We strolled arm and arm down our little main street watching the gifts of our hard work, sacrifice and unending love skip ahead in their Christmas finery.
We thanked those 19 year olds for jumping in feet first. We applauded the 28 year olds for starting on this journey of parenthood despite being completely terrified. We forgave our current and future selves for all the mistakes we have and will continue to make. With very grateful hearts-for all we’ve been given and all we still have to see-we allowed ourselves, just for a moment, a pat on the back for a job well done.
P.S. Looking for more parenting guidance and tips for self-care? Check out From Chaos to Calm a guided training to help you feel better in this tough season.