My sister and I made our way around the table—each of us folding the festive napkins just so—as we set the kids' table for the dinner ahead.
I looked at her when we met at the last seat and said, Feels strange and wonderful, doesn't it?
For the first time in over a decade, no kid in sight and no sounds of mooooooom being called from the other room. Between us we have kids old enough to watch out for younger siblings/cousins and wise enough to handle a lot of the moments that used to need a parent to fix.
One of our guests was there with her toddler and newborn baby, and as we sat down to dinner my sister and I tried to reminisce about those days and how it felt to eat cold plates of food and miss out on most of the adult conversation. But it seems our memories were blurry. We said, but it must have happened to us, even though it felt too distant to remember moments so recent. We laughed with an oh well and took turns holding the baby instead.
This year, I had a full day to dash from shop to shop finding the perfect ingredients for our well-planned Christmas feast. I was able to take my time making the best choices for staying within our holiday budget by using my favourite Flipp app, and that gave me some room for extra surprises (hello, crab legs!).
But still my eyes wandered to the babies accompanying their weary parents through the shops and to the newborn in my dinner guest's arms.
How can those days already be behind me? Why were they in such a hurry to leave?
Where have those stolen moments with the weight of a warm, flushed child on my lap at the table (so I could stay in the company of the adults awhile longer) already gone?
The other night, I happily walked the hallways with that brand new baby, so her mama could eat a warm meal. And when I came back to my table and reluctantly handed her over, my dinner had gone cold.
As I ate it, those memories came back to me more clearly. And I knew why it was so easy to forget the taste of less-than-perfect food.
It was made and served with pinches of love and then abandoned with dashes of love.
And that made it taste just as good.
+ + + + + + + + + + + + +
This post was sponsored by Flipp who helped me buy my holiday groceries this season. I am a long-time and weekly user of this easy-to-use app for planning my weekly grocery lists and saving money. I also use it to find the best prices for non-food items. I enter my list and instantly know where the best prices in my area can be found. I can clip from flyers and download coupons for added savings. It takes the same amount of time it does to scrawl a list (except now you won't lose it before you leave for the store). So, yes, even parents with young babies can add it to their smartphones.
Stories about my family life, as always, are mine.