Christmas true

When you parent you always wonder….will IT matter…?  IT can be anything from using the time out chair to a trip to the beach to an extra story at night… to any of a multitude of moments that wrap themselves into the bundle that is parenting.  Will IT matter?

This Christmas has been  a mix of memories and precursors,  misplaced Christmas dishes and a house too small to decorate the way I like to … which got me to thinking, will it matter?

Last week, I took my oldest grandchild ( 7 years old ) Christmas shopping.  We’ve done it every year since she was born.  Our son raised her alone the first 3 1/2 years of her life, mom walked out when she was 5 months old and left him with a mortgage, a dog she had to “rescue” and this precious little girl.  So when Christmas came that first year, she was 10 months old and her daddy had done everything he could to make it a Christmas like he had always imagined he would have when he became a father.  But, there was no one to buy him gifts so baby Ava and I went shopping.  Everything she touched or smiled at I bought.  He got a lego set, a pink polo shirt and, if I remember correctly , a gazing ball for the back yard.  And so it began, the yearly Christmas shopping trip with our girl.  When we went back  to her house last week to wrap the presents she wrapped and bagged and wrote the tags. She looked at me and said, “so which of these are you taking to your house?” and I explained that they were staying at her house for her to give to family.  Her face broke a bit when she looked at me and said “wait, we’re not going to your house this year , you know to open all the presents and eat and everything??  the whole family?”  As I explained to her that “Yes, of course you will all come to my house, you will bring your presents then, everyone will be there” — she smiled and continued her task.  And I knew, without a doubt, that IT mattered, the yearly Christmas traditions that are so much work and go way too fast, that result in huge piles of paper and misplaced pieces — that I always wonder if the kids are coming to just to appease me — they matter to Ava, and probably to all of them.

This morning my son came to pick up a gift for Ava that had been delivered here.He walked in and surveyed the piles of gifts under the tree.  He smiled and said, “All red and white paper this year!  It looks like a giant candy cane, awesome.”  And, again, IT mattered.  The buying and wrapping, the clutter and  ribbons, matter.  A candy cane.  35 years old and he sees the Candy cane in a pile of Christmas gifts.  It matters.

Two weeks ago the youngest, 30 years old, called to ask me what I was doing on Christmas Eve.  Our Christmas celebrations depend on when Ava is in town and what years the oldest daughter has to go to New Jersey to celebrate with inlaws….so it was a fair question.  I said “not sure, hanging out, maybe church.”  She immediately suggested a “7 fishes” celebration at her house — just us and my mom , everyone else had plans.  She and her husband could have planned any number of parties or events for them and their kids, but they chose to spend Christmas Eve with us, her parents.  It matters.  All the years of gathering the family together at our house to play Christmas carols and open gifts, to eat and sometimes drink too much…matter.  And, when it came to be her turn and she finally had a house big enough to feel comfortable entertaining in — It mattered. Then when her brother called to tell us what time his Christmas Eve celebration was starting, we all adjusted times so we could do both.  and the traditions will continue.   IT matters.

On the 18th.  all the kids and all the spouses and all 7 grandchildren gathered at oldest daughter’s house to bake cookies.  They do it every year, sometimes not everyone can make it, but this year it was full out everyone.  Sprinkles and dough, ovens dinging and me and George just standing there grinning.  It matters.  All the years of gathering them in the kitchen and baking cookies and breads matter.  And now, they continue it with their children, and since they are lucky enough to have siblings that they love, they do it together, bringing those cousins together to build memories.

I wonder sometimes if their dad and I are burdens, or insignificant in their lives, but this season has reminded me that it matters.  We matter.

Merry Christmas everyone.

 

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Go figure

one month, ONE STINKIN MONTH after I  toss my quilling supplies — saved, stored and sorted since the 70’s (I’m never gonna quill again, havent quilled for years.  blah blah blah) I find a picture of a wonderful Christmas ornament on Pinterest that is — wait for it — quilled.  damn.

candy cane straws…

We have seven grandchildren.  spread amongst 3 families — our two daughters and one son have been busy the past 7 years.

We plan a lot of family things.  Pumpkin patch, visits to the tree farm, outside barbecues.  Lots of noise and silliness, inevitable tears and frequent boo boos.  Its work, but worth it, important to us that they grow up close, loving for and taking care of each other .  Understanding that they are linked. forever.

And then there are days like today, when youngest daughter drops her two boys off so she and her husband can finish up their Christmas shopping.  Her oldest Jax came in carrying a bag of marshmallows –and shortly after they left he and I went into the kitchen and made hot chocolate for him, his poppop and me.  Little brother Ryder was asleep on the couch, so the three of us got to have a precious moment.  Watching him sit there at the table, surrounded by Christmas decorations and homemade cookies, sipping his hot chocolate through the special candy cane decorated straws I bought for moments just like this — well, thats just probably one of the best things that will happen this season.  unplanned, uncluttered and special, just for us.

 

self-care

The term “self-care” has been a buzzword in my life lately.  The doctor, my trainer, friends…everyone seems to be on this kick and determined to pull me in ….

So yesterday morning, after I self-cared my achy old body to the gym and completed a nice self-care filled workout, complete with squats, viper work and rope play….

I put up a Christmas tree.  First of the season — okay, I know its not OFFICIALLY the season, but it’s two months from Christmas Day, so I figured, what the heck.  And, Christmas Decorations are my favorite things in the world, so I feel like yesterday was a win.

wheres this little gem been?

So, this morning, skimming through my “on this day” page on Facebook, (Good Lord  what did we do without Facebook…) I stumble upon this little blog that I started years ago….( and then obviously became distracted and forgot ) .  Dont have time right now to review it but quite impressed with the little balloons I have climbing up the page….. Be back later…unless some shiny object distracts me…

Merry Christmas?

3 kids, 3 inlaws. 6 grandchildren.  1 case of RSV, one asthma attack, one bad cough, one pink eye and one “almost fractured leg”.  That leaves one healthy grandchild ….

Oh, and a tray of lasagna, a 10 lb. ham, potato salad, festive crasin salad, a gallon of homemade eggnog, 2 ricotta pies, 10 dozen cookies, 2 pickle wheels, 2 lbs. of ring bologna, 2 lbs of swiss cheese………what am I going to do with all this food????

These kids better get well, pronto!

you know you’re OLD when…

elfyou reach up to the valance to wrap the Christmas Elf’s arm around the loop and you pull  your back to the point where you are draped over a side table yelling ” babe, babe” and your husband comes running out to the family room and thinks ” oh my God, she’s having a heart attack” and grabs for the phone to dial 911, because, you know, thats what you do when your wife is having a heart attack.  And, you yell “no, no, I pulled my back” and he puts the phone down and says, “what?  Stupid elf”. and leaves you draped over the table while he walks to the kitchen to finish washing dishes.  Old.