Thursday, December 4, 2008
Basically, we went to the mall four days in a row. There’s a Santa that works in the center of the mall, and I spent the first two days trying to convince Maya to take a picture with Santa.
“Maya do you want to meet Santa?” “No!”
“Maya do you want to take a picture with Santa” “No no no…” she would purse her lips.
Imagine my surprise when on the third day, she said “Yes”. I asked her two more times and the same was a definitive “Yes”. So I took her up to meet Santa for a minute, just to see her reaction — suspicious but no crying or screaming. I asked her one more time “Do you want to take a picture with Santa?”
So I talked to the “elf” who handed her a little stuffed bear which she later named Baby Grrr. Then I took her over to Santa and placed her on his lap. ”A bish shavih” she told Santa as she showed her the near bear. Wow… not wanting to rock the boat, I ran over to stand by the photographer. ”Smile Maya” I called.
She looked up, realized that I wasn’t with her… and gave the cutest I’m trying to smile but I actually want to cry smile. She lastest about 10 more seconds before I rescued Santa… I mean Maya.
Remembering my first photo with Santa (ie: toddler screaming and flailing hands as Santa attempts to smile), I would call Maya’s photo session a great success. And we have a fantastic photo of Maya and Santa talking quietly about her Baby Grrrr.
If you ask Maya, did Santa give you Baby Grrr? She will smile and say yes!
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
For the first time ever, we will not be going “home” for the holidays. Instead, we’ll be busy packing up our stuff so that we can move back “home” for good.
Even though I feel like I should be sad, I’m strangely excited about a quiet Christmas for just the three of us. In my heart, I am imagining baking gingerbread cookies while the tree twinkles in the family room by the fireplace and holiday tunes play from the radio.
In reality, I see piles of boxes, a pizza dinner, chaos and me and Mo trying to keep Maya from unpacking our boxes. Still, I am hopeful that I can get some sort of holiday cheer in.
I really love the holidays and get all kinds of chipper when I hear cheesy Christmas rock playing. Despite how much I enjoy the holidays, it’s also a bittersweet time for me. It makes me happy and brings back a flood of warm childhood memories. But it also makes me miss my mother more than any other time of year. Christmas and my mother are kind of synonymous with me. It’s not that she was super religious or anything (just the opposite in fact). But she always made sure that this time of year was fun for my brother and I. We would make ornaments together, decorate gingerbread houses and cookies, wrap presents, play carols on the piano, watch movies like “It’s a Wonderful Life” or “A Christmas Carol” and of course, trim the tree.
My mother used to just sit and watch the tree for hours. She would curl up in an armchair with a cup of tea in her hand and a smile on her lips.
Oh how I miss her.
Now that I have Maya, I cannot wait to do some of those things with her. I guess it’s my way of remembering my mother and also passing on some of those memories to Maya.