Saturday morning we had to be at a Santa breakfast by 9:30 which is totally doable during the week but absolutely impossible on the weekend even with the improved adult to children ratio. As we drove to breakfast hoping to pretend our reservation was at 10, it started snowing. I did my usual “look it’s snowing!” because if it’s going to be cold we might as well be buried in sparkly flakes, and Parker complained “I can’t see them, you’re going too fast.”
And I am.
We’re going the speed limit and getting to 50% of our commitments almost on time but our whole day is full of running to stand still and then there is no standing still. There is just more “where’s your other glove?” and “did you brush your teeth?” and “for the love of my sanity get out of the car.”
The calendar is full of parties and practices and Santa meetings and it’s all supposed to be fun, fun, fun but when I ask “what was your favorite part of the day?” at dinner someone climbs under the table and someone else flips their rice and it’s all downhill with no sled from there.
I want to be the mom with no ticking clock on my wrist or a cell phone in my pocket that is calling for me to check the time but I’m not, right now I’m not. I’m the balancer of all the stuff we signed up for and the wrapper of all presents and the picker-upper of the 10,000 candy canes I said I would bring to pajama day.
I want to la-dee-dee our way through the holidays and fa-la-la from breakfast to bedtime but I wake with fear coursing through my veins over whether Mark moved the elf since I forgot and by 5pm I wonder if anyone will notice if I pretend it’s already bedtime.
I’m pretty sure I jumped on a mom-sized hamster wheel covered with Christmas lights and I can’t get off until I find the Lalaloopsy with the pink and purple hair NOT the plastic hair, the real kind. I love seeing the holidays through my children’s eyes but sometimes if you move fast enough the lights blur instead of sparkle.
When my kids were small and there were enough of them to deem us homebound I caught it all, twinkly eyes, flying bulbs, screaming protests on Santa’s lap. Now they are growing and moving on to a a new phase of high-maintenance and I’m fumbling for rewind or pause or the slow motion feature on this life we’re juggling. The tree was half-decorated before we could stash the tacky ornaments and they volunteer us to bring two desserts before I can sign up for plastic cups and napkins. We’re all jockeying for positions over here, waiting to see who shows who what first and I just want to enjoy the ride. Just a minute of it.
I want to pull over and leave our reservations at the side of the road and count the snowflakes that stick to the windshield because we stopped long enough to see them. And I want to say remember that one time you were all so bundled you could barely move and we walked you slowly out into the snow and showed you how to turn your heads toward the sky and wait for the next flake to fall?
Remember how the snow landed on your little noises and lashes and you giggled?
I remember all of that and I will remember all of this, with the pretty filter and sweet effect that always appears when I’m looking back.
If you need a dose of underachieving you can visit our elf who happened to be bad enough to make it on Elf Shaming today.
If you need an attempt at overachieving you can visit me at Parade Magazine (yes, I said Parade Magazine and am typing while trying not to jump up and down) where I share a project we tried at home to please oh please stop all the fighting.
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