I got to go see my first ballet today. I loved it even though Mommy & Daddy had to lie to me to surprise me!
This week is really all about the calm before the storm so to speak… though nothing about Christmas is ever a storm. There wasn’t much on our dance card aside from making sure we have everything in place for Christmas next week. And really the only thing left for Christmas was a trip for Emelia and I to the mall on Wednesday night to pick up something for Danielle slash Mommy.
And since I think she might read these posts, I won’t talk about what we found her, but I will say that Emelia is quite taken with what she picked out for her. She actually has known what she was getting her for some time now, but it was truly delightful working with her on all the sneakery so that Mommy won’t find out what it is until next Thursday morning. And don’t you worry, Emelia and I have a special pact to not let the secret out. We even picked the most secret places in the car to hide it, as well as in the house—places that Mommy doesn’t even know about!
I will say this is the first year where she really gets it, when it comes to gifting to others. We’ve had some really precious conversations around wanting to do something very special for Mommy to let her know how much Emelia cares for all the things Mommy does for her. But, we’ve had even more hilarious conversations about where to hide the present in the house where Emelia is even more acutely aware of just how much Mommy does around the house with lines like “Daddy, Mommy might find it there cause you never clean there and she does.”
She might have a point…
Without ruining the surprise, I can tell you Emelia has such a diplomatic and well-reasoned sense of how much Mommy means to her and the discussions we’ve had around wanting to do something special for Mommy have taken a heart-melting turn this year where Christmas isn’t all about her and presents. It was an absolute delight this year to plan something special for the woman who means so much to both Emelia and I. Especially now that she’s at the age to be able to rationalize that!
The highlight of the week was of course today’s special treat for Emelia—a Christmas present that by virtue of necessity was delivered early. You see today – and today only – at the Centennial Hall at 2:00pm was the only showing of The Nutcracker put on by Ballet Jörgen. And Poppa & Grandma had thoughtfully surprised Emelia (and Danielle & I) with tickets for the show.
Armed with a few stretches of the truth we had Emelia convinced that she was going to see (yet) another one of Daddy’s friend’s bands… one which was called “The Distracted Larrys” because she insisted on knowing. And we didn’t end up telling her until we arrived at the hall. And in classic Emelia fashion she didn’t freak out at the notion she was getting to see a ballet, she dialled in on dissecting why we lied to her… or more importantly why Mommy had lied to her—apparently it’s not surprising behaviour from Daddy?
Once we were settled in she was completely enthralled for the entire two-hour, two act performance. Of course there were some fidgety moments in the second act when we were reminded that she is still a 7 year old, but suffice it to say the performance was entirely a hit for Emelia. When I asked her after the show what her favourite part was, her answer was simply, “all of it, Daddy.”
We closed out the week and the day with dinner with Poppa & Grandma so Emelia could tell them all about the ballet and how she loved it. And she did. She talked their ears off about that. But of course the conversation, as it has these days approaching Christmas, turned to American Girl dolls…
Special note this week:
Thanks to my Aunt Babs & Uncle Don who sent another early Christmas surprise for Emelia – on the topic of American Girl dolls – a 4-DVD set that features the historical reference dolls they make. She was over the moon when she got home from school Friday to that package, and in the two days since receiving them, watched all 4 already!
And with that, it is time for me to go co-host snuggles with Emelia (i.e. bed time) and get her off to slumbersville and one day closer to Christmas!
In the schemes of weeks leading into Christmas this was a relatively calm one. We had the wrap up of Emelia’s ballet class complete with a performance for the parents. Emelia along with Anna and Grace were so excited to show off to the parents all that they had leant this term.
The rest of the week was filled with last minute shopping, we picked up something special for Emelia’s beloved teacher and something for the school crossing guard who is a godsend on those crazy busy mornings when we are on the mad dash to school with 6 children in tow. We love both of them and wanted to get them each something that was very personal to them. For Emelia’s teacher who loves to read we got her a Indigo gift card but we also donated in her name the school supplies for one child in a third world county. She is such a generous and amazing teacher we wanted to give something to a deserving child so they can experience some of what our child is so lucky to have. For the crossing guard we got him a warm pair of winter mitts, he is out in the weather no matter how cold and never had gloves on his hands, so now he does!
Before we knew it the weekend had arrived. John once again had to work so Emelia and I took care of all those last minute things you always forget around the holidays. We stocked up on supplies for crafts for she and the kids, well more her because she will be home and need to be kept busy while the little ones sleep. We finished up the last of our family Christmas cards and got those in the mail and got all the last minute groceries so we hopefully will not have to brave a store this week.
Saturday she and I had a great time, she was helping me plan the daycare kids Christmas party that we are having tomorrow, we are set on baking supplies, crafts, activities and all the gifts are wrapped and ready to go. As well in this time Emelia was glue and enthralled with the new DVDs her Aunt Babs and Uncle Don had sent. Not only were they about American Girls but they were the historic dolls which I of course love. She was fascinated about the lessons they taught about the eras each girls lived in. She is so excited that she is already planning on what she wants to save her allowance for a historic doll of her own.
Once John was off of work and we had dinner we had decided we needed to fit in another annual Christmas tradition, going to Victoria Park to see the Christmas lights. Now this did result in a bit of tears when she was sure she was going to also go skating. Add in two things, she needs new skates because her feet grew so much over the last year AND that it was pushing bedtime when we got there that skating was not on either of her parents radar. She quickly calmed and accepted that we needed to replace her skates before we can get her back on the ice. While walking around the park she saw the memorial tree, the tree is to represent those who have lost children, Emelia wanted to know if she could put a decoration on the tree for those she had lost and missed. We saw no harm on letting a little girl make a couple decorations for those she wanted to say she loved and missed. So today after the show we went and put two on the tree, one for her angel grandmother and one for our dear friend Gabby who died this summer. The tree really made the real meaning of Christmas hit home for Emelia knowing how lucky we really are.
Finally we came to today, the real highlight of the week and likely one of the big highlights of Emelia’s Christmas season. For some time now we had this planned, as part of her Christmas present this year Helen and Doug got Emelia tickets for the Nutcracker performance. She has been reading just about every book we have found at the library about the Nutcracker and so we knew she was going to be over the moon excited to finally see it. This was an extra special moment for me, my mother always wanted to take my sister and I to see the Nutcracker performed in Toronto and we were never able to go so being able to bring Emelia to see it really meant a lot.
And did she love it! She sat in awe for most of the two hours. The performance was wonderful and it was great to see that they included local children in the smaller roles so that there was a real connection to London in the performance. She could not wait to see her grandparents to tell them all about it and thank them many times over again for a night she will certainly not forget any time soon.
All we have now is to wrap up work for John and I and we can start some real family time. I have a full house of wee ones the next two days, John works the close tomorrow and a half morning shift on Tuesday and then we can have two days off together. I know it doesn’t seem like much but considering John’s career the fact that we have most of the same days off over the next two weeks is a Christmas miracle. And we cannot wait!
Only 4 more sleeps!