Christmas was insanely special for me this year. This year was Miranda's first one. But she did not wear a Santa hat or leave homemade cookies out for Santa and his reindeer. She did not help us decorate a tree or have to decide if she was naughty or nice. Being Jewish, we do not do any of those things. But luckily for her, her cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents do!
So off to New Jersey we went for our first Christmas with Miranda. My mom also came with us this year (as she had for the past few years) and her being there is really special for me, too. Upon arrival, my brother-in-law came right up to the car and took Miranda's car seat off they went. She has him wrapped around her little itty bitty finger.
We grabbed our presents and followed them inside. The house was warm with laughter and music and the aromas of dinner that I can still smell if I close my eyes. The love in the house was palpable and it was just a delightful day.
When we sat down to dinner, everyone took a moment to say grace. I love that they do that and that Miranda will get to experience that since we do not do it. I think it's a nice tradition and I love hearing my little nephews and niece give thanks. Especially on a holiday.
Then Gary asked if he could add something. Forks in the air and ready to plunge into their plates, everyone stopped. I am gonna paraphrase now, but this is essentially what he said, "2 years ago we learned that it takes a village to mourn a child. Now we know it also takes a village to raise one. Thank you all for being a part of our village."
I am not sure that I ever loved him more.
We would not have survived Allie's death without the love and support of those around us. And I wonder what kind of parents we would be to Miranda without the love and support of those around us. Not very good ones, I believe. It takes so much more than just us. It takes a village.
Miranda will be 9 months old on New Year's Eve. She is a full fledged crawler now. She is into everything. And we are loving every single moment. I full out belly laugh with her sometimes. She makes me that happy. She is surely what has been missing from my life...from my soul. She is the piece of the puzzle that I was searching for all along.
I wonder what it would be like to have a 2 1/2 year old and a 9 month old. But alas, I can't allow myself to think like that. I can miss my Allie, sure. And I do. But I can't do the "what if" game. It hurts my heart too much.
Instead I choose to live in the moment as much as I can. To appreciate what (who) we do have here and to remember as much of it as I can before one stage turns to the next and then the next and then the next. It's already going much too fast.
I hope everyone had a happy holiday season and that your wishes and dreams became a reality. I know mine did!