July's Story: Holding On To The Small Joys

Saturday was a big day for me, for us as a family.  It took five months and three weeks for me to let myself actually go out to a large and busy public place with Michael and the girls.  I know some of you have been in my shoes, and you know exactly what I’m talking about. 

I scheduled an appointment to take pictures with Santa, because with two kids, one of them being a ticking time bomb, I wasn’t about to play the “walk-in” card.  I have been thinking about this outing for months, and part of me was terrified, almost dreading it: the mall?! With Emmy?! No way…

Don’t get me wrong, we’ve gone places with Emmy: family/friends houses, a tailgate (a little hectic but the Ergo was a life saver), and one trip to Target that quickly turned into a speed fest as soon as Emmy started crying.  Her hating the car seat did not make for pleasant drives, so aside from the necessary daycare & pediatrician trips, I have to admit that I have conveniently limited our outings.  On the weekends, we have taken turns going places with Milly because it’s just easier to stay home with Emmy. 

We woke up Saturday after everyone had a good night sleep, took our time eating breakfast and getting ready, and I tried my hardest not to let panic take over.  I got the girls matching outfits ready, the diaper bag organized, stroller and car packed…and told myself that I just needed to go with it.   I wanted this to be a fun day for Milly, and as relaxing as it could be for Michael.  I wanted to show him that I could do this.  I’m sure he knew that I was ready to burst into tears at any given time, but he didn’t try to force the whole “it will be OK” thing on me, because well…he knows better.

We timed our leaving the house with nap time.  I drove the long way to give Emmy as much time as possible, and to my surprise she was in the best mood once we got there.  I put her in the stroller, big girl style because I wasn’t about to risk it with the infant seat.  She was in awe, looking around at people, lights, the sounds, the holiday madness of it all.  I personally love going to the mall right before the holidays because it makes me feel like I’m in the midst of it all, kind of like a rite of passage through the holiday season.  We showed up to our appointment, Milly was super shy, but so excited to meet Santa, and Emmy was her typical “it will take more than this to impress me” self. 

But…she was NOT crying. 

We took great pics, and made our way over to the food court to grab some lunch and feed Emmy.  It was all so easy, so smooth, that it didn’t feel real. I kept telling Michael that I couldn’t believe it, and I know he thought I was being silly, but I just needed to indulge in that moment.  I needed to soak it up, even if the next time we go out she’s a hot mess, because this was huge friends!  I felt like we were finally “living” and I have waited for that moment since the moment I found out I was pregnant.  We still have our fair share challenges, and ups and downs, and I am working hard on making myself better.  But it’s these small victories that give me motivation, and the will to keep going, because as Molly said in her previous post…taking care of ourselves is a must.   I want to be happy, but I also want my husband and kids to know that I am happy…without me having to actually point out moments and say “hey, this is good, I’m happy”.  

julyJulie Kimock