And then there was beautiful glorious peace. All the worrying, all of the stress, all of the planning, all of the work ... done. I'm sitting here in almost silence, just the light of the Christmas lights and the soft light of the computer screen are the only lights, my brand new Kate Bush "The Whole Story" Cd (a gift from my thoughtful husband) is softly playing while I drink a well earned glass of wine. The dishwasher is softly humming in the background. The kids are all tucked in upstairs, hopefully passed out after all of the excitement. At this moment in time, life is very good.
It's the same thing every year. Don't they say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results? If that's the definition of of insanity, then they should consider fitting me for a nice 600 thread count straight jacket. I set this impossibly standard for myself and make myself and everyone around me crazy trying to achieve it. Everything must be perfect, magical, and often it is, but there's a price. By the time Christmas rolls around I am so stressed out that I am biting everyone's head off and practically foaming at the mouth. I wonder if it's worth it. I wonder if I asked them if they would trade their crazy perfection seeking mother for a not so perfect calm Christmas? I won't ask them, I'll make the vow next year to plan better (and I won't).
There is just so much excitement, so much lead up to Christmas. It's all done in what seems like the blink of an eye. The wrapping paper strewn everywhere, the expensive gifts as far as the eye can see. Having said that, there are also really happy little kids. This year we vowed to cut back. In past years I tried to over compensate the loss of their brother with gifts. This year I didn't. I had that holding my breath moment, while the last gift had been opened. I kept waiting for them to be disappointed, and yet marvelously they were not. All of their needs had been met. They were happy children, thankful for what they had!
Christopher took three out of four kids out to toboggan on the big hill behind the house (Elly went to school this week, so of course she became sick). They were all bundled up, full of excitement ready to test out the brand new sleds from Nana and Popa. I stood at the picture window watching them trudge up that hill. It was beautiful. The kids would strain their neck to excitedly say something to their Daddy, and he would look down and smile. They would let out squeals of delight and excitement as they flew down the hill. I remembered that I am very blessed. We have enough. I am married to a wonderful man. I have beautiful, lovely children. I am blessed.
After dinner the whole family sat down to watch a movie. Two of the kids were laid across their father like blankets, he just lay there, unaware. One of the kids was stretched out on the floor using the pup as a pillow. We were warm, our stomaches were full, we had each other, and that is all that really matters. Peace just fell over me. All of the work, all of the worry, the stress, the planning, the tears, it all fell away. I need to find a way in my daily life, when I am up to my ears in stress (and my shoulders are up at my ears) to stop, and visualize that moment. I need to take a deep breath and remember just how blessed I am. I have a husband who loves me for me, I have beautiful children, I have parents who are healthy and who love me, I have friends who are amazing and who are there for me when I need them, I live in a beautiful place, my life is good. I need to remember that in the moments of stress. I just wish that I could readily remember that when I need it most. I guess its something to work towards. I am after all still a work in progress.