As a kid, it feels like the days and years drag. When the school year starts, it feels like summer vacation is a lifetime away. Your birthday last for what feels like two days and your next birthday seems to be years away. Oh, how that changes when you become an adult.
It’s December and my official two-year anniversary with the Bears. When I first got the job, there was only one Bear, who could talk but couldn’t form sentences. Now there are two and they aren’t so little anymore. Everyday Big Bear speaks more and more like a child rather than a toddler and Little Bear walks and interacts like a toddler, not a baby. Boys, stop growing, please!
Pinned to the corkboard in the Bear’s kitchen are their past 4 Christmas cards, a perfect example to how fast the years cone and go. The first card is a cartoon of a dad and a very pregnant mom hanging ornaments on the Christmas tree, a furry friend at her feet. The next year’s Christmas card is pictures of an almost-one-year-old Big Bear, then the following year of an almost two-year-old Big Bear and a pregnant mom. Then, of course, there was last year’s card, of a teeny-tiny Little Bear being held by his two-and-a-half-year-old big brother. This card brought some debate among the family, as the men thought that it looked like BB was kissing a dead baby on the forehead while the women in the family clearly saw LB as the peaceful, sleeping infant he was. Let’s hope this year’s card didn’t spark any family debates.
In the two years that I’ve worked for the Bears, so much has changed in their lives. BB grew up and starting singing and dancing and going to school. He became potty trained. He adjusted from being the center of everyone’s attention to sharing the spotlight. Little Bear was born and learned how to crawl. He had major surgery at eight months and is now walking, dancing and speaking a handful of words. He also likes to climbs- especially his dresser and bookcase.
Last Christmas I would wrap presents for the Bears while BB was at preschool and an infant LB would take his morning naps. Now BB is in PreK and LB doesn’t nap in the mornings. Last year BB and I would read Christmas books and write letters to Santa, but the understanding of what Christmas actually is being still too advanced for him. This year we discuss what day of the month Christmas is on and how every present we receive is a treat and how to be grateful. When Little Bear was cranky last year, I’d hold him in my arms, when he was still small enough to cradle, and I’d rock him side to side in front of the Christmas tree and watch his little face take in all the lights, all the ornaments. This year he takes off the ornaments on the tree that he can reach and walks them over to me- an accomplished, proud look on his face. He reminds me of a cat I had as a child who would play with the ornaments on the Christmas tree then run hiding when one would fall off and break. We’re going to need to start super gluing the ornaments to the tree or remove all the ornaments in arm’s length of LB. What a sight that Christmas tree would be.
Sometimes it’s easier to see how other people’s lives have changed and evolved over time and not so easy to see how your own has changed. In the past two years, I’ve attended 4 of my friends’ weddings and one of their baby showers. I’ve comforted a friend through a breakup and watched as she grew into a new relationship. On the outside looking in, it’s easy to think that my life hasn’t changed much, but from the inside, I’m hardly the same person. It might not be a career, but I have found a job where I wake up genuinely excited to start my day. I never have to worry about whether my boss will be my best friend or my nightmare, very different than my life just two years prior. I might not be getting published as often as I would like but I’ve consistently had this blog for almost a year. Two years ago, when people asked me what I write, I didn’t have an answer. Now I have a blog with over 20 posts and some amazing and loyal followers (major shout out to my family) and the passion for writing again. Time moves so quickly but I still have my youth. I still have three more years of my twenties to write blogs entitled “Who Am I? Part 3-103” and I still have time to figure out what kind of writer I want to be.
Looking back on 2016 you can think of all the horrible things that happened. The deaths of Severus Snape (I mean Alan Rickman) and Davie Bowie, when LB was in the hospital a week for his surgery. But you can also see all of the good. How the Harry Potter community came together to support each other and LB getting the “all clear” from his orthopedic surgeon six months after his surgery. And of course, there was our trip to Disney for Big Bear’s third birthday and Little Bear turning one.
This year’s Christmas card will be a mom, a dad, two boys (neither so little) and no new additions to the family. The card will, of course, include photos of the family dog, who over the years has watched his human family of a mom and a dad grow to include one human brother and a second. Don’t feel bad for the dog. LB loves to share every meal with his furry best friend which only slightly irritates the nanny. I think he’s adjusting well to his growing family.