Today was London's second Santa Clause parade. I live in a city where there are two and I am thankful there are two because the first one is at 7pm, way past Bee's bedtime! This one was at 10am, perfect for our little family. I've been looking forward to it for a few weeks. It's been a while since we've attended one, 4 years to be exact. The parade was happening within waking distance from our house. I bundled Bee up, thinking it may be a disaster since she was approaching nap time. Stephen and I bundled up, I wrapped Bee in her ring sling and we were off.
As we started to walk, I could feel the emotions starting to rise. Here we were yet again, doing something we didn't get to with Ty or Jacob. Here was something we looked forward to while pregnant with Ty that we've avoided the last few years. I bit my tongue (literally) to try and hold it together. But as we approached the spot we chose to stand, I felt weak. I felt myself starting to lose it. I did everything I possibly could think of it keep my shit together but it was too much. The joy of hundreds, the innocence of children, seeing brothers and sisters, hearing people so excited, candy canes, floats, it was too much. The tears started to flow and I prayed no one would see. If I just kept focused on the parade, no one would notice right? I didn't want many pictures taken because I didn't want evidence of my tears to show. I managed to smile through a few for Bee's sake but every time I looked at her, my heart was so torn. I as so happy that we were FINALLY able to do this, to go to a parade with a living child but so sad that it took so many years. So sad that I wasn't chasing around two little boys. All I wanted to do was run home into my solitude.
Thankfully the parade was not very long and we were able to retreat a short while later but the mood struck me all day. We attended our church's "waiting tree" event for kids and families but only stayed a short while due to bee needing a "nap". Or so that's the excuse I used, she was really tired but she was still in a pretty good mood. I just couldn't handle much more. We came home and have been hiding ever since. I feel like hiding the next few weeks, so many things coming up this season. So many emotions starting to surface, I've had a cold that wont go away. I can't go a day without taking a nap in the afternoon now. I feel like my body is physically shutting down yet on I go. Don't get me wrong, there are some things coming up that I am actually looking forward too. I'm so thankful we get to navigate this grief holiday with our grief family with a few events. They get it, they'll understand if I start crying and I'm sure they'll join in because I'm positive they have also donned the infamous fake smile lately. It's exhausting to hide behind all our feelings and thoughts and it's nice to be together when we all just get it.
I have managed to get all our Christmas shopping done so the stress of that has been alleviated. I even bought Bee some Christmas pj's so she can wear them to bed on Christmas Eve and all day Christmas. I have my reindeer socks and pj's and my husband has red ones. Christmas day will be a day spent in pj's, cooking some yummy breakfast and a mid afternoon ham. It will only be us three on Christmas but only because that's the way I want it. We will of course make a visit to see the boys as we always do and I know that will be emotional but we'll all be together. We will sing songs, open presents, watch some Christmas classics and for Stephen and I, we will sit and watch our amazing little daredevil child delight in her first Christmas.
Oh and have I mentioned, with all this talk about Christmas that means one other thing....Bee's 1st birthday. Yah, how did that happen? How did my tiny miracle grow up so quickly into an amazing, adventurous, inquisitive little lady? Don't even get me started on the whole 1st birthday! Whew...some tough weeks coming up filled with joy, some excitement, lots of tears and the best gift anyone could ever ask for.
My heart, my soul, my life, my beauty. She loves playing with the ornaments. The green butterfly represents Jacob (we have other ornaments that represent Ty)