Thankful, jingle-jingle

It started. The listening-to-Christmas-music-before-Thanksgiving thing. The older I get, the more I seem to find my inner Santa Claus, my inner Christmas lover. Even if it means money and stress and snow. Because it means happier things, too. The holidays mean family, noticing the everyday things on special days and sharing laughter and lots, lots, lots of love.

So who cares that it was 60 degrees the other day, with the door open and an Autumn Fruits candle burning on the mantle while I danced along with Zack to “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”?

I have one more day of work and then a few days with family near and far, family via in-laws and steps and everything in between, but beautiful, beautiful family nonetheless. Scott and I have hosted Thanksgiving for several years now, since the first year we lived in our home and Scott forgot to take the guts out of the turkey before putting the bird in the oven. We’ll have his parents and grandparents and my parents and niece. I’m beyond excited.

Before the relatives, I’m having time with my other family — the moms and their babies that I hold in the same place in my heart that I hold Z-Man. There’s been a lot of that lately, especially with Owen No. 1.

These two have such a bond. I hope they are lifetime friends.

Well, that goes for all of our lil friends… Hailey and Chase and David and Owen2 and Lexie and Olivia and the friends still to come (Big Shout Out here to my dearest, oldest friend Allison who is going to become a Mommy this week. I love you!)

Z-Man is pushing himself and is accomplishing so much lately. We’re having one of those moments where after all of our waiting, after we reach the point where we become frustrated with the plateau, the waiting, the delays… BAM. He smacks us in the face with holding his sippie cup on his own, standing up like a brave, brave boy and taking cautious steps toward walking.

I no longer worry whether Zack will learn to walk. I hold on for the ride of my life, patiently and with muted prayers on my lips, but I fake the confidence the best way I know how. I don’t cry for him as much; I laugh with him more, two of us in belly laughs with scrunched-up noses.

He will be a great big brother.

And we will always have these moments — the petting of cats, the eyes reaching up in curiosity, legs standing stiff and strong.

We aren’t just thankful this week, but it’s nice to be reminded once in a while. To focus once in a while. To have someone stand up, even if you hear a diaper scrunching when they do so, and literally or figuratively smack you across the face with a smile.

“Wake up, silly! There are Christmas songs to listen to and dance to and friends to play with and imitate and tell secrets to and a heck of a lot of smiling to do. Won’t you smile with me?”

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