Today, my friend Elizabeth and I took V to Target. We walked through all the sections in our usual order (necklaces, baby aisle, toys — this is all dictated by V, not me), and at last, we got to the holiday section.
At some point V looked back at us and said, “I love Christmas!”
She’s been talking about it a lot lately. She has some context because she watches an Elmo’s World about Christmas. She doesn’t understand that it’s about gifts. She thinks it’s about Santa and the tree and lights and happiness.
It made us feel so festive that we went home and pulled the Christmas tree out of the garage and the ornaments out of the closet and Elizabeth helped us (well, mostly she just did everything) string the lights and arrange the mantle and hang the ornaments. V was so happy that when her babysitter came because we had a wedding party tonight, she didn’t even care that we were leaving.
And then tonight we went to the big party to celebrate the wedding we were in Mexico for, and I watched the young bride navigate the vast cultural difference between growing up how she did and the network of her husband’s family, and I remembered being in her shoes. The Persian culture is extremely welcoming and kind, and also, it can be a lot for someone who is not familiar. I remember meeting C’s extended family for the first time — all of the perfume and double kissing cheeks and saying “nice to see you” and holding hands. I felt welcomed and so overwhelmed.
So I found the young bride tonight and squeezed her hands. Then I leaned toward her ear and said. “It’ll all be fine, just kiss everyone and even if you’ve never met them, it’s totally okay to say ‘Nice to see you,’ so just do that. And we’ll be in the corner when you need a break.”
She found us eventually and it was fun to reminisce about the spectacle of it all.
I feel very lucky to be married to my husband and to also have been so welcomed into his family. So many people don’t have it that way. I still freeze up at big parties, but when in doubt I just kiss both cheeks and say, “Nice to see you!”