Sunday, July 20, 2008

Christmas in July

The Cabin at the Riverbend

This weekend we escaped the Las Vegas heat to spend a day in the Utah mountains at my parents cabin. My two older girls are going up this coming weekend for a "cousin's camp." Annie and I had an interesting conversation about this.

"So mom, when are we coming for cousin's camp?" Annie asks.
"We go home tomorrow," I reply. "Then we will be at home for 3 days. Then you will come back with your cousins."
Annie gets an excited look on her face and asks, "So mom when we come back for cousin's camp, will there be SNOW???"
I laughed a little and said "No, honey. It is summer. There won't be snow."
A crushed look came over Annie's face. She is by far my most dramatic child. "But Mama, I love the snow. I want to play in the snow. When will there be snow?"
"It has to be winter for the snow to come," I explain. "It won't be till about Christmas."
"But that will never come. That is SOOO far away. I hate summer. I want it to be winter so we can play in the snow and drink hot chocolate."
A light dawns in my head. Here I am in the Father's role and here is my sweet child in mine.
"I know it seems like a long way away, honey," I say tenderly. "There is a time and a season for all things and this is not the season for snow."
"But I like the snow so much more, Mama," Annie pleads.
"I know. I know. But sometimes we have to wait for things that we love. Sometimes we have to wait what seems like forever and it feels like it will never come," I explain. "But it will come. The snow will come. Christmas will come. It may not feel like it right now but it will come. We must have patience until then. In the meantime there are so many things to do here in the summer that we can't do in the winter. In the winter we can't throw rocks in the river. We can't play outside without coats and mittens in the winter. You need to go do the things you can only do in the summer now."
"I still like the winter better," she says. She is disappointed.
"I know honey," I say with sincere empathy. "I know."

I remember how far away Christmas felt when I was a child. It seemed like another world away. I feel like that now. The day I will see my daughter again seems like it is so incredibly far away. I know it will come, just as Christmas always did, but it still seems so far away. 

This little talk with Annie has made me want very much to appreciate this "summer" time in my life more. This is going to take great effort. As a part of that effort, I want to share some of my favorite things or moments that made me smile recently. 

Welcome to my own personal Christmas in July! 

Top ten happy moments today:

10) Seeing an old friend and roommate at church in Duck Creek this morning. Hi Nann!
9) Singing along with the "How Does He Know" song from Enchanted with my kids.
8) Annie coming in to my room while I was crying to inform me that I was invited to come to the "fancy restaurant" in the kitchen for the fine dining Daddy dinner of chicken nuggets.
7) Lauren informing her Dad that she was putting herself to bed.
6) Blog comments 
5) Talking to my husband on the way home in the car about how we can keep our family close as our kids grow up.
4) Silly girls laughing hysterically at each other and at the movie in the car on the way home.
3) A giant hug from my mom and a teary "I love you and am so proud of you," as we said goodbye leaving the cabin. (OK that one made me cry more than smile but it was still a great moment.)
2) The arrival of my brother Morgan and sister-in-law Elizabeth and their wonderful kids to stay the week at our house.
1) Email from Brittany, my new friend who lost her son Daxton the same week Camille drowned.  You can see her blog here. It is wonderful to have friends on this journey through grief to walk step by step with you in the same shoes. Her emails make me smile through my tears. Love to you Britt!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight!