My parents have been separated since I was 3 and so tradition dictated that on Boxing Day my sister and I would head on over to my Dad’s house with my three half-siblings, and eventually their kids, and now my kid.
Three years ago we missed that little celebration.
On Boxing Day 2009 there was a nasty storm. My husband took the long drive to their airport where my mother and sister were set to land that night. My sister was moving back to town, my mother was flying in to meet our new baby.
I was at home with the dog, wondering if they would land safely, if Joe’s drive was safe, and fully expecting to go into labour while I was at home, alone, during a freezing rain storm. I was past my due date and I thought it would make perfect sense for the baby to come at the worst possible moment. She didn’t.
Tonight we celebrated Boxing Day at my Dad’s house, me with my husband and this little girl who will be three in a few weeks. It seems like she’s been here forever.
Her first Christmas we got to spend with Joe’s whole family. They all got to meet her and she got to meet them, it was something very special. Her second Christmas it was just us, the three of us. This Christmas it was my family – my mother, my sister and my grandfather – all gathered around on Christmas morning as she delighted at distributing presents. She got excited about every one, even the ones for other people.
When she opened the gift I had chosen for her from my grandfather she got very excited and ran over to give him a big hug. He was thrilled.
It felt pretty good to watch her get so excited about the gifts I had picked for her, the gifts I had suggested to other people. And when she wanted to play with everything right away. And when she and her Daddy played with the new harmonica and ukulele.
It seems totally unbelievable that the waiting and grumbling I did from my due date to the induction were only three years ago, and that this little person is the one we were waiting for.