It’s an accidental bokeh image! I think it looks nice. Credit to my lovely wife. Namine is very much looking forward to Christmas, and we had a lot of fun setting up the tree. We’re trying to temper the excitement about presents and Santa with the real meaning, that of Jesus’ birth.

When I picked her up from school yesterday, she told me all about the songs she and her class would be singing: Suzie Snowflake, Up On the Housetop, and Frosty the Snowman. And then she pointed to a giant inflatable Santa in somebody’s yard and said, “Look, there’s Santa! Santa is just pretend. Jesus is real!” I guess we must be doing a good job, if she’s able to keep fantasy and reality straight in her mind.

As I mentioned, yesterday I took Namine to school and picked her up. Jessica wasn’t feeling well, so I let her stay home. When Namine and I got home from school, I asked her if she wanted her braces off. (She’d had a meltdown of sorts earlier in the day, crying that her feet hurt. She was willing to put them back on before school, however.) I expected her to be grateful and say yes, but she said no. So I asked her if her feet hurt. She resonded: “Yes, my feet hurt, Haha. But I will keep my braces on, because I want my feet to get stronger. My feet won’t get stronger if I don’t wear my braces.”

Her enunciation is much, much clearer than it used to be. Every day she improves her speech; when we went to the store after school yesterday, I let Namine do the talking: she informed the cashier that we needed ice. (I added that we would like a twenty pound bag.) “Please, Haha. You need to say please.”

“Oh, I’m sorry. I meant, I would please like a twenty pound bag of ice.”

Namine turned to the cashier again, and started talking a mile a minute. “We need ice because my mama needs ice for her ice water and she needs to drink ice water so she could feel better and she’s sick right now and I want her to feel better.”

I’m sure there were parts that the cashier didn’t catch, with Namine talking so fast. But she understood enough that she responded, as she handed me the receipt, “I hope your mama feels better. Tell her to drink lots of water.”

“Okay, I will! Bye!” And she kept yelling “Bye!” until we were out of the store.

To me, my daughter is as much the embodiment of the Christmas spirit as anything else I could think of. Whether or not you’re a Christian, you can hardly deny that we could stand to be a little more loving, a little less selfish. Namine is exactly that: she is one of the most loving, selfless people I know. She lives in a world where hugs and kisses have true healing power, where the words “I love you” are more than just words, more than mere sentiment. They are a way of life; they are a constant state of mind. I want to live there, too.


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