December 27, 2019

The Best Worst Christmas Ever

We had the worst. Christmas. Ever.

If it could go wrong, it did;
[x] Our beloved class pet escaped and seems to be gone forever;
[x] Our Christmas plans got canceled because of the death in the family of my friend, which meant that we were home, thankfully, when on Christmas Eve;
[x] Our house almost burned to the ground (maybe a slight exaggeration but the possibility was there. The power cable to our house exploded and smoked heavily and we lost power);
[x] We spent the rest of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in the school, which was still a mess from our Friday party, so I spent half of Christmas Day cleaning;
[x] So while we were 48-hours without power;
[x] We started having propane failure. I was outside in my jammies at 3 am Christmas night trying unsuccessfully to get the heat back on;
[x] After giving up and going back to bed, we woke up at 6 am to 54º in the house;
[x] The day after Christmas I drive all over getting things fixed and come home to discover that the screen on my MacBook is flickering.

Also there is not one photo from Christmas. It was not a magical, tradition-filled day full of love and laughter.

Also we got a puppy.

I spent more than a day wallowing in self-pity.

On top of feeling like this Christmas in particular was the Christmas from you-know-where, Christmas in general is just a hard time for me.

Four-years ago, we had a magical, tradition-filled Christmas full of love and laughter. It was the last happy day in our family. Two days later, 4-years from today, my husband woke up in pain. 

He went from fine one night, to dying the next morning.

Literally.

And so Christmas already packs a lot of emotional punch for me.

But after having myself a hearty cry (and a little sweets binge-eating), I let myself feel the cold, silent void in my heart for just a minute.

The funny thing about feeling so empty is that you tend to realize all the space you have in your heart to fill up. Sometimes I feel so dry and empty that I wonder if I'll ever love again, and other times I feel like my heart is just so full of love with no one to give it to...

These are the thoughts I was contemplating when my kids came into my bedroom. They ether don't notice my tears or are just used to seeing them. I'm not sure. They sat down and cuddled up to me, seeming to feel the weight of my silence.

"So did you have a good Christmas?" I ask neither child in particular. Knowing that we had a crappy Christmas and now I was going to have to try to do something to fix it.

Millie looked down at the puppy in her arms, "This was the best Christmas ever!"

Wait, what?

"The only thing that would have made it better is if I got a hatchet," Sam Added.

I honestly felt dumbfounded.

I smiled, "What made it so good?"

"I've been praying for a black lab puppy for forever." I can verify she had been.

"And I wanted a trampoline so much! Thank you, Mama!" My son, so full of life and energy and excitement.

"So you guys a had the best Christmas ever?"

"We did!"

As they bounded off to take Nugget (I bear no responsibility for that name) outside, I had to stop and think. Was it the best or the worst Christmas?

It's easy as adults to get weighed down by all the things. There's even more weight for single parents. But kids don't let the weight sit on them for long. They feel it, I know they do, but then they shrug it off like a sweater on a 70º December day in the south.

They leave the weight strewn in the grass on their way to jump on the trampoline. When they get there, they call to me.

"Will you come jump with us?"

The weight I bear feels to heavy to jump. Too heavy to set aside.

"Mama come jump with us!"

I walk over to the trampoline as Millie attempts a front-flip. "Wow, that's pretty cool. I couldn't do that."

"Yes you can Mama! Come up here, I'll teach you!"

I hesitate under the weight of everything gone wrong. But I'm not thinking about it for long. In a moment I find myself kicking my shoes, and my worries, to the side as I climb up onto the trampoline.

My kids are overjoyed. Their excitement fills my heart. As Millie begins explaining just what I need to do for a flip, I begin to jump beside her. The more I jump the farther I feel from all the problems waiting for my attention.

Higher and higher we jump before I tuck my chin and throw my body into what I hope ends up resembling a flip.

Both kids come bouncing on me in excitement over landing my "pretty good try" at a flip on my back. As I watched them celebrate my small victory, I wished I could be more like them more often.

"I think you guys were right."

"About what?"

"This is the best Christmas ever, isn't it?"




PS - Sam got a hatchet the next day.

2 comments:

Felipez said...

This is beautiful in so many ways! Precious thoughts, precious family!

Unknown said...

I was just about to delete your site because I stopped opening it when there wasn't any new content for a while but I thought I better make sure and I am so glad I did. You are a fine writer and I enjoy your posts.

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