Friday, December 26, 2014

That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown

Sit down, y'all... I feel like talking.  I've actually been trying to post this since last Saturday but I didn't win the battle.  

Today we went on a marathon hunt for my keys.  Which I blamed husband for losing because that's become his middle age thing.  Take my keys and put them exactly where they least belong - and make sure it's somewhere totally odd and unexpected where I'll never think to look.  And make sure and do all this on a busy morning when you leave early for the fire station and Kristi is left to handle the chaos of being about everyone's business in a limited amount of time before she needs to be at work. 

So of course he was first to get the blame today.  He's earned it.  Over and over. 

And I looked in  my purse ...  and kids 1 and 2 looked in my purse.  Which wasn't at all satisfying because husband then felt he had to look in my purse.  Then we hunted my work bag and the shelves by all the doors, and my car, and the dresser, and under the pillows in the front hallway where I've found lost keys before.  And we retraced our steps and remembered that I came home from work yesterday and thankfully never had to leave the house again.  So there.  I couldn't be the one who lost the keys. 

And we spent at least half an hour hunting till kid 1 remembered that kid 3 was the trash man yesterday and since we got garage robbed, and our lives were forever changed, we've had to live like big city victims of crime and put locks on our gates.  So kid 3 used my keys to unlock the alley gate and there we found them.  But at least not hanging in the gate for every east Dallas wanderer to come in and open our Christmas presents while we sleep.  They were actually found on top of our rain collection barrel in the backyard.  Which was a first for lost keys everywhere, but will next time be the first place we look.  

And there was the day this week when I tried to go to work but couldn't because I had a flat tire.  So I called fireman Dave at the station who was able to come home and swap cars with me real quick - with the firm instruction to immediately take his car to the gas station or I may be left stranded in that vehicle as well.  And whatever caused the flat tire made us buy 2 new tires because it turns out that if you fail to regularly rotate your tires per the tire warranty instructions, the tire shop won't fix your flat tire.  Live and learn, if I may quote my husband on that deal.  Which is a whole lot nicer than what I expected him to say.  And later in the day I went by the fire station and traded out cars so I could drive sickly kid 1 to the doctor on my two brand new tires and feel proud.  Good news is that he doesn't have strep or the flu but he has something else we can't quite put a name on and has a cure all prescription for antibiotics.  Merry Christmas.  

And since I was with the sick kid at the doctor, I had to send kid 2 walking to the elementary school to claim kid 3 and be the responsible stand in for me while I sat in the waiting room for 2 hours.  Then later I came home and drove kid 3 to the school spaghetti fundraiser and dropped him off like an orphan while I went to the pharmacy and waited with all the sick people to get kid 1's medicine.  Where I had something gigantic get into my eye and under my contact lens and I cried out of one eye in pain but was determined not to put my fingers in my eye at the pharmacy or I might catch something worse than whatever kid 1 has that brought me there in the first place.  

Then I went back to the elementary school and hunted for kid 3 who was found playing out in the dark of night with some friends and a football and by the time I got home that day, I wondered, for the thousandth time, what the heck.  What had I done to deserve a day like this one.  And then I told the boys goodnight and that I loved them even in all the craziness but Mom is done for the day.   Close my door please and do not enter unless someone is dying.  

And then there was the night I got separated from the family in Dallas Cowboys stadium with no cell phone signal.  In a stadium full of people all wearing the same color there for the high school state championship game - which we attended to support our nephew playing that night.  And lost, alone and hungry, without a dime to my name because I either had to carry everything into the stadium in a Ziploc bag or a tiny coin purse per stadium security rules.  So all I owned in the entire world that night was a tube of carmex, a toothbrush, and a dead cell phone.  

And I waited for husband to come find me - expecting him to draw from clues of all our years together to find the missing treasure .... clue 1, Kristi can be found around nice upholstered furnishings and clue 2, the biggest clue of all - find the most upscale bathrooms in the stadium and Kristi will probably be close by.  (And yes, I did find those.  The ones with real faucet fixtures, marble counter tops and hot water.) 

But he didn't come looking for me and I eventually asked a fella if I could use his phone to call for help.  And y'all, now I know to never to get lost in a desert or a strange country or I'll be on my own to find my way.

And on Christmas Eve the boys were wrestling all over my bed and crashed into me and made me cry like maybe they broke my rib.  But they didn't.  And it turns out it was mostly just a broken heart.   

And this has been my season of Advent.  My season of waiting.  Waiting as we do every year at this time for the light of the world to show himself to us again and remove the darkness that seems to follow us more sometimes than others. Waiting for the real reason for Christmas.   

And it seems I've been waiting day after day for the longest time of late and .... still waiting.  So this isn't my merry Christmas blog post.  This is a real post about real feelings and real things that are okay to feel and say out loud.  

Here's a picture of our happy family making cute cookies together.  

But pictures don't tell how then kid 1 got mad at kid 3 and broke one of the cookies all over kid 3's face then yelled something to the effect of... I'll break your face with a clothes hanger.  Nice.  

So I had 2 kids locked in mom jail forever until they could figure out how to use their words nicely in our home.  Then, I cried through the entire new Little Orphan Annie movie and thought for sure the sun will never come out again tomorrow.   And I cried in the car on the way home and I cried when I asked kid 1 then kid 2 to help with a chore and they argued about how tough life is when you have a mom that has expectations of you.  

And there it was.  The dammed up tears of a lifetime were released and became the flood waters of Christmas sadness.  

And here's what it all comes down to.  My kids have been arguing up a storm lately.  Usually just 2 of the 3 of them at a time, but with no guarantee that the third won't jump in and pick a side to support. 

And too many times it includes name calling, and lots of the word hate.  And parents everywhere have told me that I'm not alone on this island of ugliness, and that things will change as the kids grow up.  

But here you go.... I grew up in a house where things didn't change.  There was yelling and hurt and disappointment.  And people who were supposed to love didn't act very lovely sometimes.  And more than anyone ever should... we heard the word hate.  And y'all, after a kid hears that word for long enough, it becomes much more than a word.  

So I had a difficult time being merry and bright before Christmas this year.  Did you?  I hope not, but you can say it if you did.  Because it happens.  And all the shopping and cooking and gifting won't and can't change a heart that just isn't ready to open up to joy on calendar command.  We can't schedule our joys and our blessings and our hopes any more than we can schedule a hair appointment when we desperately need it the most. 

And I think the holidays bring a big mix of emotions out in some of us.  Especially those of us that tend to keep a little bit of hurt feelings held inside the rest of the year.  Then when Silent Night plays during the candlelight church service or a sweet Disney movie song sends us over the edge, the holiday wishes of merry and bright become more of a demand than a well meaning wish.  

And I truly love this time of year - mixed feelings and all - because I have the choice to make some changes.  The choice to make memories and all new traditions.  And it's a new beginning over and over that never stops coming year after year as a reminder for us... that we can start all new because

Because through what seem to be impenetrable walls at times, Christ breaks through to our world, on schedule, on demand, and on time when we need him the most.  And even the ugliest of words and the hardest of hearts can't resist the love of a baby that came to love us just the way we are.   

That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown. 

post script... And FYI.... water resistant mascara is NOT the same as waterproof.  Don't trust it ladies.  DO NOT TRUST IT.  


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