By Heather O.
I won’t lie. Sometimes i’m not a fan, and this year was my biggest bah humbug year yet. The thought of dragging my children and their presents across the country on a long plane ride and then subjecting them to the non-stop family action that is our annual Christmas tradition was less than appealing. The first three nights here, Little Sister didn’t sleep longer than 45 minutes at a stretch before she’d wake up screaming. In desperation, we’ve decided to ignore her crib completely and just plop her in bed with her brother, who invariably passes out every time we get in the car. The kid hasn’t bathed for some time because he’s always asleep before we can actually put him down, and yesterday I discovered that he’s been wearing his cousin’s underwear for 3 days.
Every year, I say to my husband, “I don’t know how much longer we can keep doing this.”
Today, as we pulled up to my parents’ house, I looked at my droopy children. The trip was taking it’s toll, and they had both had major tantrums already that morning. I walked into the house, and we started the merriment of Christmas with my parents, opening their presents to us, opening our presents to them. I said to my mom, “What did you guys do this afternoon?”
My mom said, “We took a nap,” and let out a deep contented sigh.
I sighed too. Less content.
“You mean you get to the point in your life when you can take a nap on Christmas day?”
“Yes, dear. You do. All too quickly,” said my mother.
Of course, that makes it sound like she would rather be spending her time chasing little kids than lounging in her bedroom, but that’s only because she’s well rested. Well rested grandmothers can look fondly upon their grandchildren and wish that time would stand still. Tired mothers don’t do that. Tired mothers long for naps and ways to mute their children that aren’t illegal.
But still, I realized that this stuff won’t last forever, and, for better or for worse, Christmas will not always look the way it did today. And it was a good day, full of family, presents, music, games, laughter, and lots and lots of yummy food. And that’s something. Well, it’s a lot, actually. And I’m grateful. And now it’s snowing, which is really fun, only because I know that I can have my fun playing in it, and then go back to the South and swap our snow gear for sweatshirts and a rain coat.
I still want a nap on Christmas day, though.
Maybe next year.
Merry Christmas everyone.
(Shoot, it turned into Boxing Day as I wrote this post. Oh well. Y’all know I meant to post this on Christmas Day. Just go with it.)
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