Yesterday we took Olive down to Vancouver to meet up with Adam’s family and watch the Santa Claus parade.

Typically I’m not really a “joiner” or a “doer”. I’m a bit of a hermit, I like puttering around and thinking and over thinking and researching and if ever I DO want to join something, or do something, I apply the above talents and it sucks all of the joy out of it and the urge quickly passes.

(I sound like a real treat, don’t I?)

It is due to these overwhelming predilections towards introspection that, although I love the holidays and love family get-togethers, sometimes activities that involved forced cheer have the entirely opposite effect on me. Faced with throngs of people determined to Have a Good Time, and Make Happy Memories, I turn surly, filled with rage. It’s as though my affection for my fellow human beings is inversely proportional to the amount of said human beings I’m surrounded with at any given time.

Alone in my living room I adore our world, the people who inhabit it. I wish everyone peace, can’t understand the scores of ongoing conflicts. But two hours later, crammed cheek to jowl in a sweaty mass of people and feeling like one more sheep destined for slaughter, I am filled with loathing for your stupid hat and your stupid face and I want to punch everyone in the throat and scream “What is WRONG with you?!” and then elbow my way out of the sweaty masses and run into the woods and live there forever and never ever come back.

So. This is all a long-winded way of saying that I wasn’t expecting to like the Santa Claus Parade, BUT I DID!

Maybe Olive is changing me, softening my cynical heart, but I found myself dancing and swaying in time to the music, even waving to the insipid little float-riders. There was still plenty of snarking, but I also thoroughly enjoyed myself and even felt a whopping dose of Christmas cheer.

Olive was a rockstar. she slept through brunch, I fed her in Adam’s parent’s hotel room with a view overlooking the Vancouver skyline, and she slept through much of the parade too.

At one point she woke up and started crying, and I was glad I had remembered to pack a bottle so we could feed her on the parade route instead of me having to go find a coffee shop or something (guys – I would have missed Santa!)

After the parade Adam and I went for a late lunch/early dinner and I fed Olive again while we were waiting for our meals to arrive. I think I scarred our young server for life – he was about 17 and I’m not sure he’s ever seen someone breastfeeding before, after that he wouldn’t make eye contact with me for the rest of the meal, poor thing.

Then we drove home, did some crafts with Olive, got her in her jammies and she had an amazing sleep.

When she awoke for her 5am feeding, I found myself humming Christmas carols.

Consider me well and truly de-scrooged.

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