Friday, December 18, 2009

I didn't realize a toddler could teach me this much...

First off, my intention with this blog was to do a lot of writing about hunting and outdoorsy stuff. Unfortunaetly, I started writing towards the end of the duck season, and now we are in that rut for us outdoorsmen where we aren't able to do much. I promise when it's the heart of the hunting season, there will be a lot more of that stuff around here. With that said, let's continue on with todays post.

The more and more I get to do parenting, the more I realize I like it. And one of the things I like most about it is getting to reexperience a lot of things through my sons eyes. I get to watch new discoveries and experience the thrill of it just like him. No more is that evident as the holidays.

I don't remember much of the holiday season from when I was his age. I remember a lot of memories from a long time ago, but everyone has their limitations. Anyhow, those memories I do have unfortunaetly have a fair amount of unpleasant memories. Now before any of you read into that too much, let me explain. We always had gifts to unwrap, we always had the opportunity to see family on both sides. We were not denied the spirit of Christmas.

But my parents divorced when I was in 6th grade. So from that point on, it was different for us when it came to family activities. When the holidays came up, it involved arguing and jockeying as to where we would go. As the years dragged on, I started to not view the holidays with the same enthusiasm as I did when I was a young kid. I started getting sick and tired of being in between all of that garbage. I wasn't anticipating what my gifts were, I was wondering what the argument was gonna be like this time around. It was like that for many years.

For me life always seems to hit the reset button. That button was pushed when I met Elli in 12th grade via second semester German class. We endured a long distance relationship throughout college and that involved us getting the most time together during the holidays and summer break. No longer did I dread having to be in the middle of a tug of war. I didn't care, because I got to spend time with her. Also, as my sisters and I grew up and all went off to college, the jockeying between us as it pertains to where we were gonna go eased with time. The holidays were a time to start getting together again, not domestic issues. We laughed, we enjoyed each others company again, and it started to be smooth for me again. As we grew up and became adults, the ties between my two parents loosened and I think that it was a relief for both of them to finally have that last loose end taken care of and they to finally have their freedom from each other.

It has only gotten better with Daven. I have seen what a broken family does to a younger child through the eyes of myself and my sisters. I am determined to not have that happen to Daven. With him, I am having all kinds of wonderfully awesome and positive holiday memories. I get almost as excited as he does each day when its time to do his advent calendar. I laugh every time he runs over and tells us to turn on the lights on the tree. I love seeing the eyes of my parents and as well as Elli's parents when they tell me that they found a perfect gift for their grandson. I can't wait to put together his big gift Christmas Eve and then see his reaction to it Christmas morning. It is awesome. He is teaching me each day how truly enjoyable the holidays can be.

And not only for me, but I think he is helping my parents as well. I no doubt believe the whole divorced family thing put a damper on their holiday spirit as well. So they are getting to do it over themselves with Daven, and I can see the joy this is causing them as well. One of the favorite things for my dad is to take Daven outside of his home and turn the lights on and watch him squeal and squirm and run around with delight showing him all the lights. And my Mom enjoyed watching him open the gifts last year, and no doubt she is excited for that activity again this year. I know I am. And that's a nice feeling.

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