Things are the same…and different.
We actually had a nice Christmas. Because of all the circumstances, we basically had to pack a month worth of Christmas prep into a week. (A LOT of Christmas prep goes on at this hiz-ouse because that is my brand of crazy!) It’s the first year that Josh hasn’t had to help me stuff Christmas cards, but Christmas cards got out. (Good thing we have kids old enough to fold and stick now!) Each child got an individual shopping date, even if it meant that Ava and I had to be there and back again before the sun rose two days before Christmas. (Which, by the way, she LOVED. How did I feel about it? NEXT TIME, COFFEE COMES FIRST!) I baked for preschool teachers and made treats for neighbors and presents were bought and wrapped at the eleventh hour. Even though I knew we could get a “pass” this year for anything we didn’t do, I think I needed to DO. The comfort of tradition and the marathon of preparations were the distraction I needed at that moment. I think Glenda would have been baking and wrapping, too, if roles were reversed.
But we didn’t do everything the same. We didn’t cut down a tree this year, and the tree went up MUCH later than usual. We didn’t put up outside lights, AND we don’t feel guilty about it. I never got around to finding my book of Christmas CDs. I didn’t even find the Christmas jammies for the baby, and I don’t think one of my children wore a festive sweater or shirt. We fell behind on Advent readings, and we didn’t even start on the Advent calendar until halfway through the month. My Christmas cookie cutters have not left their drawer. On Christmas Day, we celebrated with Grandpa Dan and The Girls but then we went to Dennys for dinner instead of worrying about cooking a meal.
I have decided that this week might be my favoritest week of the whole year, this week between Christmas and New Years. This past semester was a particularly exhausting one. I drove to two co-ops, I drove to gymnastics, I drove to karate, I drove to a number of field trips…between that and the family issues, I think I about drove myself into the ground! So this week? The one week out of the year with no extra-curriculars whatsoever?? THIS IS SO BEAUTIFUL.
I spent yesterday making a huge clothing shift. We got Egan a dresser for Christmas so that his old dresser (which was once Izzy’s dresser, which was once Ava’s dresser, which was once my dresser, which was once my dad’s dresser…) could be used for Arrow. Considering the fact that all of Arrow’s clothes were exploded around my bedroom and bathroom, this was a much needed change! So I spent the day boxing up Egan’s clothes that were too small, unboxing clothes for Arrow, and organizing the whole thing.
The funny thing is, it made me think a lot of Glenda. You see, Glenda was SERIOUS about children’s clothes. I think that that was a side effect of adopting four girls at one time. She was the queen of the clothing rotation. She was constantly rotating their clothes for the seasons and giving me things for Ava that we would later pass back for the next child. I have never really had to shop for clothes for Ava. And, honestly, I haven’t had to shop much for the boys, because even though she doesn’t have boys, Glenda just knew how to score clothes. She was a mean consignment shopper, and also seemed to always be getting large bags of hand-me-downs from someone or another. In fact, the last thing I remember doing with her was helping her rotate clothes. It was the day after Thanksgiving, and she asked me to help her go through the girls’ dressers.
So things are the same, and different. And I guess it will always be that way. I’m still here, baking Christmas goodies and sorting clothes. But something is missing.