1) You may have noticed I've been MIA the last few weeks. In the busyness of the season, something had to give to save my sanity. Many thanks to my kids who offered to fill in for me and did a super job. I did try to get Kevin or Drummer Boy to do this week's edition, but neither one were too enthused. I even suggested Kevin and I could do them together to which he replied:
Kevin: Everyone would think you really did it anyway.
A lame excuse if you ask me, but it's probably time for me to get my act together. My head is about to explode with all the thoughts I haven't expressed. How will I ever get them out in a coherent way?
2) I spent far too much time hating this season. I can't tell you how often I thought or said, "It's just not right. All this rushing around and spending money on stuff nobody needs. It totally takes away the meaning. Where is the real celebrating of Jesus? I hate this." I got up each morning dreading the list of things I needed to knock off for the day.
On the Sunday before Christmas, tears rested just below the surface as the choir sang about Bethlehem and stillness and joy and all I wanted to do was be a sheep hanging out at the manger, not the woman who had all this wrapping and cooking and cleaning and people pleasing to do.
In the car on the way home, my sadness came out again and my husband, who rarely calls me on my crap, had enough.
Kevin: I wish you could just be happy. Everybody has stuff they have to do. Instead of hating it so much, just do it. We all have to.
Me: I know. I'm a whiner.
Kevin: You're not a whiner. You think about it too much.
He was right, of course, and his words were exactly what I needed to kick me out of my funk and get over myself already. Besides, he was helping me all the way. HE decorated the house, BY HIMSELF. He helped with the shopping. He set tables and picked up the house. He got groceries and anything else I needed, all while taking care of his own work and planning special services for church. My attitude was taking away from celebrating Jesus, not my circumstances.
Now, how do I remember this for next year?
3) One fantastic element of the season is having all my children together. While traveling to northeast Nebraska to celebrate with my side of the family at my sister's house, all four of our "kids" fell asleep in the van. Looking back at them made me wistful.
Me (to Kevin): Would you look at that? Right there is our life. This is what our life together has produced! Isn't it amazing? Can you even believe it?
Kevin raised his eyebrows in true my-wife-is-losing-it fashion and I took another look at the miracle. Both boys had their mouths hanging wide open, sleeping exactly how their mother does and I found it completely endearing.
And now you know why Kevin raises his eyebrows.
4) Ladies Man hasn't been feeling well, fighting a naggy sinus infection for weeks. You know how guys get when they're sick? Ladies Man is no exception. For days we heard this in the droopiest voice you can imagine.
Ladies Man: I just want it to be Christmas. Why can't it be Christmas?
It reminded me of long car rides when kids whine, "Are we there yet? How much longer?" He was hoping for a pBone, the latest rage for trombonists, a plastic trombone. You think it was worth the wait?
Yes, that's Drummer Boy creeping in the picture. This is the goofiness at my house when all the kids are home. Never a dull moment.
5) Ladies Man informed everyone we would be opening gifts by 8:30 Christmas morning. I was up before that and as I made my way down the hallway, I noticed Princess Dawdle was not in her bed. When I got down to the living room, I saw her and Drama Queen sprawled out on the couch and Ladies Man planted in another chair, all with their pillows and comforters, watching a movie.
Me: How long have you guys been up?
Ladies Man: We got up at four!
Me: FOUR?! Couldn't talk Drummer Boy into it, huh?
Drama Queen: He didn't want to get up, the poop.
I went into the kitchen to get a cup of tea and soon heard Drummer Boy singing.
Drummer Boy: It's Christmas. It's Christmas!
The rest of them joined him and I wondered if I was in a Twilight Zone episode. These aren't a bunch of eight-year-olds. My kids are 22, 19, 17 and 14!
Ladies Man: Can we wake up Dad?
Me: You probably already have!
Soon they were upstairs and I heard from the floor below, across the house, "SHHH. DON'T WAKE UP DAD!"
It was a super day of hanging out together, laying around, watching movies, eating junk and did I mention laying around? I was in my robe until 4:30! Then we cleaned up and went to Kevin's parent's house to celebrate with his side of the family that evening. Awesome, relaxing day.
6) Does anyone know at what age bodily functions and potty humor go away in families? I keep thinking we'll be maturing out of such silliness, but it seems like we'll never get out of it. Drama Queen put on Drummer Boy's present, "Merry Christmas, ya poop!" We're always guessing who farted. The boys are continually trying to hug their sisters in their nasty morning smelliness. Either my children are severely underdeveloped or they just don't take themselves too seriously. I'm hoping for the latter.
7) Despite the toilet jokes, we've had a great week together. But all good things must come to an end. Drummer Boy and Drama Queen leave us today to travel with the Husker band to the Capital One Bowl in Florida, but they'll be back for a few days before they return to school on the 7th. I hope you've had time to enjoy the people you love this holiday too.
Talk to you next year. Click over to Conversion Diary if you want to read more Quick Takes.