Monday, December 07, 2009

A milestone

This year marks the first Christmas ever that G hasn't wanted any toys. I saw it coming last year, when her list started to veer away from toys toward other things, but this year, none at all. Instead, she wants a video flip cam and Sims 2 expansion packs and lots of movies. She wants an iPod Touch. She wants some purple fingerless gloves and a matching scarf she saw at Claire's. She wouldn't be averse to clothes if they were the right kind. (Wanting the "right kind" of clothes, which to her means dark skinny jeans and hoodies and Converse-style sneakers and anything with peace signs on it, is also a new thing this year. At least she doesn't care about the actual labels yet.) The one toy-like item she asked for is the Clue board game, which I will get her even though she'll have to invite friends over to play it -- she and I have trouble with board games because most of them are designed for three or more players, and there are only two of us.

I haven't said so to her, but all this has caused me to reminisce soppily about her first Christmas, when she was not quite a year old and had just started toddling, and her presents were wooden puzzles and Sesame Street videos (no DVDs yet then) and board books galore. She had recently said her first word, which was "cat," and when a relative gave her a tiny faux-leopard fur coat on Christmas night, she looked into the box with a bewildered expression and asked "Cat?" which made everyone around her fall over laughing. And I can't help wondering where that curly-haired baby went, or wishing her father were here to wonder and remember too.

I used to think it must be hard to live a very long life, 100 years or more, because eventually you would be the only one who remembered your past: everyone else would either be dead or wouldn't have been born yet. Now I have an idea how that must feel. There are plenty of people who remember Christmas 1999, but no one in this world but me remembers sitting in the living room of our apartment on that sunny December morning, helping baby G play with her new toys. No one at all.


Jen said...

Ah, I so identify with that feeling. For me, it's not Christmas that triggers it as much as my daughter's birthday. No one but me remembers those wonderful and terrible first days and weeks after we brought her home. It helps a little bit to imagine telling my daughter stories so frequently about those days that she adopts them as her own memories, as children do. Hopefully that will help her feel closer to the daddy she lost at 21 months, and add to our bond, as well.

Alicia said...

Yes. For me, it's the ups and downs of adoption: The heartbreaking disappointments, the funny memories, the highs and the lows.

Yesterday, a friend marked what should have been the 13th birthday of a baby girl who was stillborn. Now that her husband is dead, there is nobody who shares those memories.

It just underscores the loneliness of it all.

Humincat said...

I can't comment on the lonely part, other than to say, I'm sorry for your loss, which is generic and, as you have shown me, should be "loss-es" since it is all the million little things that hurt the most. I can say that my 10.5 year old is also asking for anything with a peace sign ( I found a cool sterling silver necklace at Kohls marked from $50 to $20!), hoodies, dark skinny jeans (not any other color than dark btw, and they must be skinny, no bootleg or flare, that is soooo last year) and some low-top Converse, black preferably. Oh, and graphic tees, like talking food or something funny OR cool, not that I know what any of that is, lol.