Sweet, like shopping the markets when mandarins are in season…
…then poking them full of cloves just as I did when I was young.
Sweet, like pulling out last year’s stockings and hanging all three pairs. No lone stocking this year.
Sweet like the tolerance level of the girl selling unbelievably obnoxious lights, each flashing a different color and playing off-pitch electronic Christmas songs. “All the noise and lights don’t bother you?” I inquired. “Oh, a little, by the end of the day.” she replied with a deep sigh, seemingly glad for a little empathy.
Sweet like a family of plastic baby Jesuses in the back of a pickup truck.
Sweet like toddlers begging their vegetable-vending mamas for pesos, then pulling on the pant legs of the man with armfuls of palm-leaf ornaments. (I didn’t dare snap a shot of the kids once their mamas noticed my intentions.)
Sweet like tidy mounds of moss, ready to blanket the floors of awaiting mangers.
Sweet like Estella’s fascination with baby Jesus, “the flying lady with the thing on her head” and “the sleeping puppies.”
Sweet like circles of dear friends offering wishes and intentions for the coming year. Sweet like finding a school that encourages sacred circles.
Sweet like pinatas, eager young faces and the energy of anticipation.
Sweet like catching a quick shot of my (now bilingual) girl who’s started refusing photos.
Sweet like crafts made from garbage and glue and glitter…
…and the resulting “ornaments.”
Sweet like exploring winter gardens with my youngest…
…and city streets with my eldest.
Sweet like handmade dresses and disdain for stinky chickens.
Sweet like intense, chocolate brown stares and hints of who they’re becoming.
Sweet like pausing for a breath (while sporting her own new dress).
Sweet like resuming her usual pace.
Sweet like four totally unique and amazing daughters and one totally unique and amazing Christmas.
Best of all — sweet like all six places at our family table filled, once again. Moments such as these are just too sweet for photos.