You know? There were some really sweet things about Christmas this year. First and foremost, it was probably the most peaceful and happy family gathering we [my siblings, parents, and I] have had to date. It was nice, fun, wonderful to spend time together. Despite the increased stress levels there was no drama or problems to diffuse. It was really amazing – I think we may be – [[gulp]] – GROWING UP. . . . I’ve heard that can happen sometimes, and I’m pleasantly surprised.
Emma was relatively good, all things considered. She was really just barely on the mend from her horrible bout with the croup. Meanwhile, I came down with the flu. I mean, the real deal, influenza. You know what’s pretty silly? It turned into the croup for me too. Second time as an adult to have that happen. I must have some sort of perpetually inflamed throat/bronchial area or something, and it just gets set off. Ugh. I was pretty much uber-sick through the entire visit, but I’m on the mend now.
And back to Emma, the reason I write here. She seemed to oscillate between cute-hyper-bundle of joy and a vicious wild animal caught in a snare. Overall, I was impressed. She had a few horrible meltdowns, but it could have been so much worse.
What really sticks in my mind is sitting in the back of the room, watching while all the kids opened their gifts. Her cousins, and brother, and other adults watching and helping, were all so INVOLVED and excited. Emma was very happy, and was enjoying a gift she received, but she was so ISOLATED. She really didn’t notice or care what the other kids were doing, or the adults either. She was in her own little world, in which others enter and leave upon her discretion. Everyone ran downstairs to see the cousin’s big presents in the garage, she? Doesn’t listen. Care. Notice. Anything. They come back? Whatever. She’s looking at her baby doll, pushing it around in a stroller, telling everyone, “Baby! Baby! Baby!”.
She was sweet and happy, and I received great pleasure watching the interactions she did have with her family members [usually the adults]. But I also caught my first full-monte of her very unique world, and it’s limited vision and involvement with others, especially other children. I found it kind of sad and melancholic. But not overwhelmingly. I guess I’ve had too many other realizations about her lately, and this was just another drop in the bucket. It’s something that we can work on as she gets older, within her own comfort levels. I think. Whatever makes her happiest, I guess.
By the end of Saturday she was pretty well cooked. I think my mother and step-dad were too. I decided against throwing her in the car and leaving abruptly at 7pm, and took her to bed for a good storytelling instead. One half-book and two sippy cups later she was asleep, and I was dreaming of sleeping in my own bed.
And guess what, my dream came true! I’m back at home, coughing and hacking into my own sweet-sweet pillow. 🙂