Christmas can be really hard.

15665533_10155275574620016_3294414847635670228_nChristmas can be really hard. It can be especially hard preparing everything when you’re on your own, kids in tow. And kids are smart. They know when you’re finding things tough.

And so, today while we were running through my lengthy list of pressing errands, my eight year old ran around the car and pushed me hard in the gut.

“What are you doing? Stop! Stop!” I was agitated. When did she become so strong?

She looked up at me with glistening eyes and pointed to the blue ribbon she stuck on my belly. She had won the first place ribbon during a competition and, years later, still carried it with her everywhere she went.

“You’re my number one, Mommy.” She held her eight year old finger up and smiled.

I was shocked as I pulled the ribbon off my jacket to examine it. Her prize. It had worn from the touch of her dear little hand. Much of the gold writing was faded, but the number one and the Olympic torch remained legible.
That very morning we had been discussing priorities and how we needed to decide what was the most important, because there is never time for everything. Some things could wait, so we need to focus on what is most important.

15697941_10155275963930016_3419553298976549311_nThe enormity of her statement filled my heart as I brought her in close for a bear hug. ‘You’re my number one.’ Her little sister, not willing to miss a single moment, joined in.

“I couldn’t have wished for a better gift this Christmas.”

She beamed with pride. “Neither could I, Mom!” And the three of us held one another tightly.

We didn’t finish that errand, or any other errand today. Instead, we headed straight for home. And when we got home, we didn’t worry about tidying in case someone dropped by. We decided not to worry at all.

In fact, decided to take the time for ourselves. To take the time to sing, to play, and to laugh together, because everything else just really isn’t that important.

So the cards will be sent. The house will be tidy. And the laundry will be finished. One day. Just not today.

Merry Christmas everyone! And God bless us, one and all.

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