The holiday season is officially over with Three Kings Day, and I cannot recall a cozier or more magical one, which is saying a lot. I think Maya's presence brought a feeling of contentment and purpose to all we did. Now that we're all here our true journey begins, and the holidays made this clear.
Of course, the fact that we had a baby in our midst meant there was an excuse to stay home more, to do less and to expect less in terms of pomp and fuss. And this too made all the difference. I'm happy to say all the important things happened--a beautiful card to send out, nice food, plenty of friends and family, meaningful gifts, cozy holiday movie watching and book reading, simple crafts and even a quick getaway.
But above all, warmth and togetherness for the five of us. Many times during the last weeks I told myself to remember this moment and that, many times I thanked my lucky stars, more than once I got teary-eyed about the happiness in my home. It's the sign of good times, no? That and maybe hormones, too.
For the last hoorah of the season the Three Kings brought the girls art supplies (including a ream of paper for each... those smart, practical, wise men!) and we celebrated with my sister and nephews in the afternoon. CC got the baby in the cake this year, but as always, all the children got small gifts the kings had "left" with me that morning (silver markers and black paper, so fun and chic those kings).
The most memorable part of the afternoon for me was that in the midst of what was supposed to be the stuff of cherished childhood memories the cousins bickered and fought and managed to spill about $30 in coins on the floor (don't ask!), Sabrina got jealous of CC finding the baby in the cake and stormed away from the table, and a number of expletives were shouted by various small children. Meanwhile Maya had the longest and most inconsolable crying fit of her short existence after I had put her down once too often to take a picture or cut a piece of cake.
Then, just as suddenly as mayhem had first started, things calmed down. Maya latched on and nursed happily, we all exchanged gifts and thanked each other, the children began drawing with their silver pens. My sister and I sighed and smiled and watched, feeling the magic even more so because for a crazy time we had lost it.
We had a long art session after dinner so the girls could use their new paints and other art supplies. They also worked on the project we forgot to get to during our little party, which was painting wooden star-shaped boxes with glow in the dark paint and sprinkling glitter over them. We talked about the Three Kings and the meaning of Epiphany while the girls worked and once they were done we all snuggled together and watched a few scenes from The Greatest Story Ever Told. Finally, a few hours after the girls' usual bedtime, we managed to tuck them in for the night. It was as if none of us wanted the holidays to end.
But since they had to end, it's good that they did this way, with a day that unfolded beautifully on its own--the planned moments not quite shaping up and the unplanned moments turning out to be perfect. In the end I felt that, just in time for this new year, I had had my own epiphany about acceptance and the true meaning of perfection.