“Christmas Morning Magic”

“Christmas Morning Magic” is the term I use to describe experiences that I longed to enjoy with my children while we struggled to have a family. As silly as it may seem, building sandcastles was high on my list.

Last week I dove into some craziness, packed our children up and drove down to Florida. Hubby was unable to come so we caravanned with my sister and brother-in-law. Travelling with a 4 and 2 year old on your own is not for the faint of heart. Thankfully, just as I was about to strap Little-Flower in her car seat onto the luggage rack of our car, my sister offered to move her to their car where she proceeded to act like an angel. (Really?!)

With no daddy as a reinforcement, it was a bit rough. Little-Flower attempted to have a tantrum at every opportunity that she saw fit – to the extent that people at the pool and beach noticed. I smiled at one staring family and asked if they could tell that she was two. Eventually, my parents basically took over entertaining and feeding Turkey-Man, allowing me to focus more on Little-Flower which made things run more smoothly.

But, I got my first dose of Christmas Morning Magic for this summer! Well, sort of… My children were busily destroying any attempt of my sister or I to build a sandcastle. We eventually settled on turning the sand into the kid’s personal kitchen. They made all sorts of things in the buckets. Sometimes I drew out the ingredients in the sand.

I don’t know what it is about sand that draws me in. Maybe the limitless use of it or the way I can quickly erase and rebuild. I think a lot of it is the nostalgia of the days I spent building castles, roads and moats with my parents and siblings. I simply love getting lost in my imagination while I play.

Turkey-Man is just now reaching an age where he can fully engage his mind into creating something. He has developed a love of drawing. He perches himself on the end of the couch with a sketch pad and colored pencils and creates. For four, I am often surprised by his abilities. (Admittedly, I am easily impressed given I cannot make a stick figure look right!)

So many years I wondered if I would ever experience those things that I longed to share with my kids. Watching them grow from newborns into miniature human beings is amazing. They are getting old enough to start sharing things that I passionately enjoy like playing in the sand. My hope is that they love some of the activities as well, providing a shared interest to bond over.

In two weeks I get to spend another week at Northwestern Ohio Christian Youth Camp. Of all things in life, this place is what I love most. “Heaven on Earth” is what some of us refer to it as. Gathering 100-150 people together 24/7 for a week to sing, play, worship, and learn is amazing. It truly is like a glimpse of what Heaven will be like. Last year we took the kids and Turkey-Man has not stopped talking about it since. He absolutely loved it! I actually cried the first night we sat around the fire and sang. Getting to experience something I love so deeply with someone I love so deeply is meaningful beyond words.

So many times I wanted to throw in the towel in our pursuit of having a family. Often I tried to force myself to find contentment in our family of two. However, I could never push my dreams out of my head, no matter what was happening. I am so glad that I hung on and kept pushing through the obstacles. It is so worth experiencing these moments!

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