slowing down.

Is Christmas really less than a week away? It’s hard to believe that these last few months of preparation (yes, I said months; I’ve been shopping for people since October!) are finally about to come to a head in six days. And although I started shopping early, which sort of draws out the pressure of the season, I’m really glad that I did. I am 99 percent done with shopping; I just have to take the girls out so they can pick things out for each other. I was planning on taking Jovi out to pick something out for her daddy, but last night as we were talking about her wish list for Santa, one of the things she asked for (and bless her little heart) was “a picture of my daddy.” And then she expanded a bit on that and said she wanted a picture to give to her daddy. Fortunately for her (and the shoppers at Walmart that I’d undoubtedly shank this late in the shopping season) I had a photo of her and Kyle taken that day I did the fall photos. So we’re going to frame it and she’s going to wrap it and give it to him Christmas morning.

Although the things To Do aren’t slowing down this week (yes, I have resorted to making lists because my brain is otherwise consumed with stupid things such as the theme song to Perfect Strangers. Why my brain makes room for that and not my kids’ social security numbers, I have no idea.) I’ve consciously worked on slowing down my heart. Appreciating this holiday and what it means for us and our family. The traditions, the memories, the gift-giving, the things that matter.

This morning, Jovi and I fought about wearing pants (her, not me. In case you need that clarification). It was maddeningly frustrating to tell her over and over again that she was not leaving the house without pants on. And I truly hope that is the last time I will ever have to say that phrase to her. She picked out a dress to wear, which is fine because we rock the long sleeves and jeans under dresses around these parts. And she’s always been OK with that, except for today. Through tears she said she wasn’t going to look beautiful. Siighhh…really? We’re going to do this right now? At 8:09 in the morning when I’m supposed to be at work nine minutes ago?

So we had a little heart-to-heart about how being beautiful isn’t the most important thing, and how obeying Mommy and being a nice person and a good sister are the important things. She nodded at me (while sneaking peeks at Curious George) and said she understood. Then, two minutes later… I don’t want to wear paaaaaaaaaaaaannnts.  Count to ten. Breathe. Walk away….

Well. Maybe I planted a seed in that stubborn brain of hers. It doesn’t seem like things “stick” most of the time. Like the things I say are immediately forgotten and replaced with thoughts of glitter and paste. Or whatever it is little kids think about.

But then the other day Jovi, out of nowhere, said Jesus is to be born in Bethlehem. The angels first heard the news. I’m paraphrasing here because I am lame and can’t remember the exact wording she’s been using. She’s said the same verse several times the last few days, which tells me it wasn’t a fluke.

I’m assuming she learned that at preschool because it’s nothing we’ve specifically taught her, other than reading the Christmas story. So it gives me hope that she is listening on some level even if her actions and words sometimes speak to the contrary.

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