Baby’s first Christmas is such an exciting moment: the wrapping of tiny presents, hanging of new ornaments — seeing the world through the wonder and magic of a child’s bright eyes. Yet despite the happiness this season brings, my heart is the tiniest bit heavy this year. Because for the first time in my life, I won’t be waking up in the home of my parents where bright red stockings are awaiting me. Or the home of my in-laws where the morning smell of fried eggs and toast awakens my husband and I from a deep slumber. Instead, on Christmas morning, I’ll be waking up in my own bed — here, in my own home. Because this year I’m the grown-up.
It’s a gift I welcome with open arms – the gift of becoming Bee’s mother. Yet part of me is mourning the loss of my own childhood in a way I’d never expected. Even though I’ve been married for over seven years, my husband and I have still felt like children on Christmas morning. We’re both the youngest of three siblings, so long after our brothers and sisters began families of their own, we were still snuggled tight in the guest rooms of our parents’ homes – childless, with no real traditions of our own.
And now we have Bee. And with Bee comes the anticipation of new traditions – traditions that will live in our own new, tiny family. Late night drives through winding neighborhoods, marveling at the beautiful displays of lights. Present wrapping on Christmas Eve with our favorite carols on repeat. Belgian waffles topped with fruit and whipped cream on Christmas morning.
And even though I’m thrilled to begin anew and embrace our own memories, I’ll still miss the old. I’ll miss the sense of wonder that can only come from sleeping in your childhood bed, staring at the same ceiling you used to gaze at when trying so desperately to hear Santa’s sleigh bells.
I can only hope to provide Bee with that same sense of wonder – for each and every Christmas until she, herself, bids farewell to my traditions and embraces her own.
Tell me, did you experience a similar feeling when you said goodbye to old traditions and hello to new ones? I’d love to hear your thoughts.