Tuesday, December 3, 2013


We have had the most marvelous times recently.

Aimée's joy in picking a Christmas tree and helping her daddy with the lights. The thrill of unwrapping and hanging ornaments with us. Music from The Nutcracker. (She spends most of the time calling "dance!" and beckoning us to join her in enthusiastic jumping and waving.)

And I have noticed how our eyes shine as we plan Christmas treats and memories we want to make with our daughter. We laugh constantly over little things she says. I didn't expect to find that the magic I loved as a child wasn't just created by a parent for a child, but in a parent for a child.

Among these little highs there was a definite low yesterday during a trip to an entirely silent used book store. Already warm from our trek down brick-paved sidewalks, the warmth of the little shop hit me like a heat wave. (You should know, this automatically puts me in a bad mood. It's why I always have to apologize more in the summer than winter: heat just brings it out in me.)

Add to this the lean orange cat which Aimée glimpsed heading around the closest book case and you can imagine my state of mind when she let out a piercing shriek of excitement. What followed is best imagined in slow motion because that is how I saw it, sweat dripping down the side of my face, fumbling with my bag, praying for patience. Aimée took off at top speed careening wildly through the store, intent on catching that cat if it was the last thing she did, yelling at the top of her capacity "Ca-a-a-at! Ca-a-a-a-at!!!" with employees looking on.

I wanted to slink behind the closest display and disappear, leaving Andrew to wrangle our toddler out of the store. But by the time I caught her Aimée had reached an even quieter section of the shop and I decided to hide with her and a pile of vintage Little Golden books in the hopes that we could sneak out later without having to look another employee in the face.

Some day we will look back and laugh together over this experience. And I think I will wish I had not cared what anyone else thought about the exuberance of our child.