Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas, Earrings and Bellyaches

We had a wonderful Christmas. It was more special, calm and comforting than I could have ever anticipated.

I was filled with anxiety leading up to it. There were moments when I thought that I couldn't do it. I wasn't strong enough for an American Christmas. We weren't strong enough. Not yet. We were in too deep to cancel.

People were thrilled for us. Our first Christmas. Together. As a family of four. I wanted to scream- DON'T YOU KNOW HOW TERRIBLY WRONG THIS COULD ALL GO?!

But, they didn't. How could they?

I felt lost. At times I felt very alone in my panic and deep breaths. A few times I misplaced tears and cried at little things. I was too stressed for words.

Tears poured as I was watching her first grade holiday performance. I was beyond proud. I kept flashing back to our Christmas one year before.  When I had to leave her. The most difficult time in my life. I hope my life is never that painful again, but my heartache was nothing compared to what she experienced. What she had already lost. My worst is nothing.
Loss is not relative. Pain is not relative.

Aster's performance was beautiful. She sang all of the chorus parts perfectly and quickly opened and closed her mouth - the worst lip synching possible - for the wordy parts. She stood tall and happy in her Christmas dress.
In between songs, children shared their letters to Santa. Every letter started the same, "For Christmas I would like to ask you for ___ for people who have less than me. I would like __ (fill in wii or iPod Touch or whatever)..."
I felt like I had been punched in the gut. It took me a few emotion filled moments to figure out why.
My daughter cannot tell the different between a bad tummy ache and being hungry- yet, she was coached to write a letter asking "Santa" to give people clothes. Santa never visited to give her food, yet he gives rich kids iPod Touches.
Pain is not relative. 
So much to explain.

Tonight we discussed the possibility of getting her ears pierced. When I told her she could pick earrings, she absolutely glowed.
My girl's ears were pierced before. Pierced, but she never got earrings. My little girl got her ears pierced and never got the reward of seeing shiny earrings sparkling from her ears- even for a moment,

"It was sad."

Looking into my soulful daughter's eyes- the eyes that are so full of love and genuine care for others- just reconfirms what I already know. Pain is not relative. Hurt is not relative. Love is not relative. My daughter's experiences have been extreme, too much, heartbreaking - but the result is extraordinary- she's breathtaking.

I heard you mommy. Who said that about me? Who said I will do amazing things?
I said it, baby.

She already has.