As many of you know, my family no longer does Christmas cards. We make a Christmas video each year and I just love this tradition! It is something that we look forward to making every year.
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“Mommy, watch. Mommy, watch.” I heard as I was filling my dinner plate and heading to the table. There Eli was, so focused as he stabbed the pasta and scooped it into his mouth. He looked up to make sure that I was indeed watching him and his eyes were filled with pride and excitement as he waited for me to respond. I of course let out a proud squeal as I told him what a big boy he was. It wasn’t that long ago that I was having to spoon feed him all of his meals. How incredibly fast these little ones grow up!
Later that night Eli was playing with his Phineas and Ferb action figures. He began lining up all the characters and naming them one by one. “Candace, Phineas, Ferb, Bella, Mertz” (Yes Bella and Mertz are his shortened versions of the character names but it completely counts.) Then he pulls out Perry the platypus (for those that do not watch the show he is the family pet as well as a secret agent.) He holds it for a second, looks at it and then casually says “platypus.” Wait, what did he just say? Chase and I started laughing. How awesome is that? He knew to call Perry a platypus! It really does amaze me at just how much their little minds absorb. Never would I have thought that all those times of watching the show that he would have picked up on the fact that Perry the platypus was just that… a platypus. The little minds of our children are far bigger than we could ever imagine! Every day he learns a little more, each new days brings more words, longer sentences and a little tiny human that will carry on a conversation with me. I sit here and think back to the days before Eli could actually communicate with words and it feels like forever ago, yet just the other day, all at the same time.
The other thing that really shocks me is that people other than Chase and I understand his words! You know how for such a long time in the early toddler years your child will see you talking to someone and they will chime right in. When they are done the other adult smiles, looks at you and then asks what they said because mommy knows the toddler language. The day that Eli was able to say things and I wasn’t asked what he said, wow that was weird. How did my little boy grow up so quickly? While this new stage reminds me of how quickly he is growing it also brings about a whole list of other joys. There is nothing like the way my heart melts when I hear the excitement in his voice as he discovers something new and yells out “Mommy, watch!”
Christmas might be over but we are still celebrating all that this time of year can bring… family members visiting, naps in the middle of the day, snowy mornings, the glow of the fireplace,
game nights and new toys scattered about the house. Right now it is quiet in the house. Eli is taking his nap and Chase went to see The Hobbit with his parents. I gladly stayed behind to get a little “me” time. So what do I choose to do during my free time? Laundry and writing, what a good combo, right?
This Christmas was a little different though, not only was it my first one since being diagnosed but Lupus also made an appearance! That’s right, I was in a flare up! I went to bed Sunday night and tossed and turned all night aching and then Christmas Even morning my flare was in full swing. I have to say it was pretty upsetting to feel like poo during all of Christmas. I had my usual hip, knee and back pains, along with fatigue. But this flare was different, I had a new symptoms… my ankles were so achy I could barely stand to put weight on them. So with that I found myself on the couch with a heating pad around my ankles. It was definitely a little disappointing. I even got a little emotional about everything on the drive home. I didn’t want to be a downer let alone spoil anyone’s fun. But, then I think back to the last couples of days and think about how incredibly blessed I am! Not once during my flare up did I have to worry about cooking, doing the dishes or any of the clean up. The amazing women in our family took charge as I rested on the couch. And speaking of that… no one cared that I was sprawled on the living room furniture! I may have felt bad but I didn’t want to miss any of the excitement that Eli was having over his new toys! And let me tell you he was having a ball! I can still picture his face as he was opening presents!
When I think about the past few days all I feel is gratitude. I might have Lupus and sometimes it might make an appearance on a special day that I so badly wished it wouldn’t. But, my God has given me more than I could imagine! He has given me the love and support of my amazing family! I don’t have to let my bad days define me! Instead I can take joy in knowing that on those bad days God has given me people who I can turn to for help. Wow, what a blessing that is!