Natalie and I made it to midnight in more of a warm-ember-and-peppermint-ice-cream mode than a fireworks-and-champagne mode — but both utterly pleased, nonetheless. We woke Xi and Echo for New Year’s hugs and kisses, and then crawled into our new wool flannel sheets (thanks Gramma Bonnie and Juju!) for a long winter’s nap.
Earlier on the last day of the year, in addition to our final candle-lighting and the confetti poppers we launched with the girls before they went to bed, we performed a potent family ritual that Xi and Echo (with some help from Natalie and I) created to refresh and reset their sibling relationship.
I won’t spend the time here to say much more about it, because if you click on the picture above, it links to Natalie’s sweet post giving all the details — but briefly — I think the girls had gotten a little stuck holding some hard feelings that added up to some pretty frictional interactions over the last few months. We’d been processing it together, and talking, and working on learning from it during most of that time, but it wasn’t until the past few days that we hit on the idea of making an opportunity for them to create and enact a ceremony to get rid of some of the grievances, and pain, and sadness that they’d been unable to release thus far, offer each other some forgiveness, and allow themselves to get back to interacting from a place of love.
I have to say I was awed by both girls authenticity and openness during the process, and by the power of what we all experienced there together. I’m also a little startled by the change that has come over the two of them in the 24 hours since. Talk about the magic of the season…
The day before that, we had to take the eldest McTague girl back to her other family. Poor girl was sick most of the time she was here, but got some good loving, and homeopathic nursing, and was able to join in on the fun to varying degrees throughout.
Two days before we took Bella back, and so early that it was practically the middle of the night, we had to send back the grandparents. Xi cried when she was getting ready for bed the evening before they went saying, “I don’t want the grandparents to leave…”, and I think that pretty much sums it up for all of us. We like having all of our grandparents here.
Speaking of which, I have to say (again), Nana and Grandpa George absolutely rock. Of course, they have their own opinions and ideas (who wouldn’t?), and we don’t always agree 100% (who would?), and we sometimes momentarily second-guess each other on child-rearing (we wince a little when they still say, “Good job…“, and they wince a little when we let Echo climb all over the shopping cart), and we have to negotiate those moments with extra care, but the bottom line is: they’re just so darned nice and fun. It was indeed hard to see them go.
So now the stockings are unhung and emptied once more.
The Rainbow Stacker that Natalie (finally) got has been commandeered for the girls’ play.
We skyped with Bella today, and I read Harry Potter to her (while Xi and Echo listened as well). Tomorrow Xi heads back to school. And life completes the eddy of our holiday time together before swirling and surging forward once again. And though I’ve said it often as of late — I am still, again, and more than ever thankful for how good we have it.
Happy New Year to you sweet World. And much love, too.