I should be grading. I've been off of work for just over a week, & I've barely done any. I have, however, lived Christmas to the fullest. The kids & I met my mom at the mall Christmas Eve day to watch the last minute shoppers, celebrated Christmas Eve at my in-laws, Christmas morning at our house, & Christmas night at my parents'. We slept over at my parents' for more family time, had a bonus Christmas at my sister's house, babysat their friend Lucas for a day, & hunkered down in the house for two frigid days before hosting my sister & brother-in-law & their kids for New Year's. We played with the kids' new toys & discovered just how well Ginny can read. James got a I Spy book at the library & spent hours devouring it in our laps. I may have spent a bit of time on my phone, but generally speaking, I lived in the moments with my kids this week. It was awesome.
Then, today, it was clear that it was time to take down the tree. We have a real one, & needles were falling off... no, basically, branches were falling off. It had to be done, & as the ornaments came down, melancholy rolled over me like a Mack truck. James found a train ornament he'd picked out on Veteran's Day. I remembered the day he bought it when I'd been looking forward to the whole season-- picking & decorating the tree, visiting Santa, riding the Polar Express, driving around looking at lights, & then, of course, opening on the big day. Now all those moments had passed, & my kids would be a year older the next time they came around.
So I cried. I cried & tried to distract myself & then cried some more. I'm proud of how often we live in the moment with the kids, but even when you do, those moments still pass. I wish I had some wisdom to write here about it, but I don't. You don't get to play Santa forever, & eventually they don't want to read I Spy books in your lap. And that sucks. But I also know people who've lost children, whose children are frozen in time for them, so I'm not letting myself stay in this mood for long. It is a blessing that they keep growing. I have so much to be grateful for & to pay attention to...
For example, while I was busy trying to pull it together today, the kids decided that they wanted to help clean up after the tree. James got the vacuum & attached the stick thing & spent probably 45 minutes sucking needles out of the cracks between our floor boards. Ginny decided to make her doll's Jeep into a "snow plow" to clean up the needles in the kitchen. All of this activity happened while they were dressed as superheroes (naturally). If I'm too busy feeling bad that these days will one day end, I'll miss the day that Spiderman & Batman clean my floors. Good thing I do keep my phone handy-- I took pictures. When these days have passed, I'll be darned if I don't have plenty of ways to remember them. These are pretty awesome days.
I'm an English teacher, a wife, a dog lover, a bibliophile, & a wanna-be fashionable mom. Well, I'm already a mom. Just trying to get the "fashionable" part going...