Lily and I spent most of Christmas eve outside in our yard. A wonderful family and friend bought her a swing set with a slide. I was sitting on the grass watching her swing on her belly and flip over off the seat. She would run so fast through the yard and jump up to swing on the trapeze bar. It was really entertaining and made me laugh. I finally gave in and agreed to push her on the swing. I knew it was inevitable and even though I kept saying no, I could think of nothing else I would rather be doing. She brings me such joy. “Higher. Higher. Higher Mama” she said.
We finally decided to sit down on the grass and throw the Frisbee back and forth. We rolled it to each other, threw it up in the air, and then came the tricks. Lily makes up cute rules when we are playing games. I love hearing them in detail and watching her face as she explains them. She is so articulate. I try not to smile when she is serious but it is crazy hard. She really liked it when I spun the Frisbee high up in the air and it came flying down to the ground. If it landed near me then I had to get it, but if I couldn’t reach it she was willing to run over and grab it. Sometimes she gave me a funny look like “Really Mama!?”. Sometimes she actually said that, but in the end I would win. I secretly hoped it was out of my reach so I didn’t have to get up. Giggle.
It was during this time that Lily asked “What is Christmas?”. I sat there quietly. She then asked, “Is it a celebration?” and I said, “Yes Lily. It is a celebration”. I immediately had a sense of peace and confirmation about how I answered her question.
This past year has been rough. It was psychologically painful. It was utterly exhausting and it was incredibly taxing trying to shield Lily from the insanity. One thing that remained consistent during this chaos was our wonderful bond as mother and daughter. Even in tears, we were able to smile, laugh, and hold each other through the good and the ugly. God kept us strong even though I felt like we were being ripped to shreds. We kept going.
Yes my dear Lily, Christmas is a celebration. We survived this year and we are together. I had faith. It is a celebration that God, our father, showed me the way and I followed. He opened doors and the hearts of many people. It is a celebration that we have a place to call home. After all we have been through, we survived and will recover no matter how long it takes.