My December wasn’t busy when I viewed it from the safety of Thanksgiving weekend. I could look at the calendar–mostly empty–and hope that in between the holiday shipping there would be time for some peace. If I look back at the calendar days I’ve just been through, they still look pretty empty, but I know that they were not. December is always like this, or at least it has been for the last several years. It is the unrelenting list of things to do, each one small but important. It is getting the kids up for school and instead of focusing on homework support and house management, running downstairs to process the stack of orders that needs to go out with the mail. Then it is managing the small homework crises which would not have been crises at all had I been following my usual patterns. It is the accumulation of clutter and laundry because I use my spare minutes to plan gifts, manage customer support, or process orders. Then there are the out of ordinary things that rearrange my days. Kiki needing urgent medical attention for what turned out to be an acute abdominal strain. Link having frequent heartburn pain which increased to the point that he was awake in tears at night. So now we’re in the process of diagnosis to figure out why–lab results testing for an ulcer should come in on Friday. Each unexpected thing makes all the other things have to shuffle around.
And then there was the mummified chicken. It was a school project. The kids have been working on it for weeks, but Gleek really owned the whole process. I was fine with that, except one day Gleek called because she’d volunteered a to bring a sarcophagus and she had left it at home. I delivered it. The next day Gleek called because the kid who was supposed to bring the cotton wrapping had not done so. That time Howard delivered the rescue. This afternoon Gleek arrived at the car with the sarcophagus in hand. Someone had to take the mummy home and bury it until spring, rather like an odd version of taking home the class pet for the weekend. So, I have a mummified chicken in my garage waiting for Gleek to dig a hole in some corner of my yard. This definitely falls into the category of Things I Did Not Expect When I Decided to Become a Parent.
I was supposed to take Gleek and Patch to go see the Christmas lights on Temple Square today. It is a trip we all want to take, except when we walked into the house this afternoon, not one of us wanted to leave. I don’t want to leave my house very much lately. I know I should. It is good for me when I do. Yet entire weeks go by when I only leave to carpool kids or to fetch food from the grocery store. And visit the post office. I’ve made many trips to the post office this past week when I could not leave packages by the curb because of the water falling from the sky. This is why it was so good of Howard to send me to see The Hobbit last Friday. This Friday I have a social event with friends. I’m looking forward to it, and simultaneously I do not want to leave my house. I don’t like the word homebody. It has negative connotations for me, but increasingly I think the word applies to me. I’m trying to decide how I feel about that and if it is a problem to be remedied.
Last year I wrote a lovely blog entry about approaching Christmas This year is different than last. I find myself in a strange place where Christmas is only days away and our tree is still mostly bare of gifts. The strangest part is that none of the kids have come to me upset by the lack of presents, though a couple of them have expressed concern about what they should give and how to fund it. I have a stash of things I’ve accumulated, but I get the feeling that none of my kids will be shopping in the mommy store. They are going to go shopping, seeking out what they want to give rather than taking the easy path of giving something I’ve already acquired. I’ll be assisting with this more challenging path, turning over to them this part of creating the holiday. Thus we build new holiday patterns because we outgrew the old ones. More important, I am loosening my hands on the reins, realizing that Christmas is a group project and I have to let everyone else participate instead of just being passengers on my ride. Even if it means that three days from now there is a present buying panic.
All of which makes for a blog entry as mixed together and haphazard as most of my days have been lately.