Ah, Thanksgiving weekend. Is there any pie left? The Black Friday shopping is done and the Saturday deals have been taken advantage of. There were no flat screen t.v.s to chase down (where would we put it?) and we all have our iPads and iPods and don't really need portable DVD players for the car (yet.) As Saturday evening slowly drifts into Sunday morning, we are left with the remains of a weekend, when the bustle dies down to quiet reflection. The sales are over but the weekend hasn't quite passed and we have a few moments before the return to work and the "real world." Besides a trip to the theater to wile away a few hours, what is one to do but look back, reflect, look forward and think.
I think I ate too much. I think I need to do a better job of working out. I think I'm a bad mom. What?!? Oh, don't get me wrong, I love my girls, but I think I am failing Brooklyn this month/birthday. I am failing her because I did not have time to handmake invitations to her party. I am failing her because I did not have time to plan a big party and instead we are taking just a few of her friends to Color Me Mine and out for lunch. I am failing her because when I told her to put things on her "wish list," I forgot to write them down.
When we were shopping yesterday, we stopped at Build-A-Bear to look around. She asked if she could have the $5 special gingerbread person. Tired from hearing "can I?" and "I want!" I finally relented and told her that I would buy her the $5 gingerbread person, but only if she walked over to the Toys for Tots container at the front of the store and drop it in. You see, we have plenty of "friends" that Brooklyn plays with and sleeps with. But I know there are children out there who don't have "plenty." I'm a bad mom, I suppose, for making Brooklyn donate the gingerbread girl. Someday she might remember it though, and someday she might thank me for teaching her to think about others.
Sometimes, the tried and true, old reliable things are the way to go. I'm just saying. There is a place for new and exciting, but there are times when old reliable is good too.
Friends, even old ones, can surprise you sometimes. Just when you are completely bogged down in "life," someone you least expect to hear from calls and leaves you a message. You are floored that he would think of you and grateful that he called just to say hello. You promise yourself that you are going to work harder to be the kind of friend to him that he is to you. And sometimes, just for a second, you wonder "what if?"
There just aren't enough hours in the day to do everything we want to do. Something has to fall by the wayside. Will it be the holiday decorations, the papers to be graded, that scrapbook page that just hasn't been finished, the cleaning, playing with the girls or the reading books with the kids at bedtime? When in doubt, the girls win hands down. I try to drop what I'm doing because at the end of the day, they are more important that just about anything. Sometimes it is hard to remember what my true focus is, especially when I think I'm working on something for them, or trying to preserve a little piece of them for the memory books. But in the end, the time with them will make the memories and without them, what would I have to scrapbook? In the end, there are still dishes in the sink, the decorations aren't up, the pictures aren't printed and who knows when the school work will get done. But we went to dinner together and we walked around and we played before we said goodnight.
No matter how long I live in California - holiday lights will always look funny on houses without snow in the yard.
No Black Friday deal is worth the trouble if it means pepper spray or getting beat up or having a cop think you are shoplifting. I'd rather stay home and shop online in my jammies where I can watch t.v. at the same time.
One of these days, I will finish my book by actually putting it down on paper. It's starting to take up too much space in my head and I'm getting confused. That or I'm just getting old.
I did photo books of each of Brooklyn's first 5 years of life. I just finished putting Kensi's first year book together and ordered it. I'm wondering if she will be mad at me and ever forgive me if I don't do years 2 through 5 separately and instead combine her book with Brooklyn next year. I do them for the relatives, not for us - for us, I do the scrapbooks. I need to figure out how to let some of this guilt go (does this make me a bad mom?)
Every time I hear a kid screaming bloody murder or throwing a tantrum in a store, I thank God that my kids don't act like that. B has thrown a tantrum once or twice, but never that loud or crazy. We don't let it get that far. No, we don't cave and give her what she wants - we walk out of the store and go home. And we usually take something else away too, just to show her who is in charge (we have to remind ourselves from time to time too.) Some might say that I'm a bad parent because I say "no!" to my children. Those people can come talk to me in about 20 years when my kids are the upstanding members of society, helping clean up the streets by putting away those individuals whose parents didn't say "no."
The holidays are upon us full force. The lights are up, the music is on and the race to find the perfect presents has begun. I miss Grandma Wolf and her stockings hung down the staircase, the trips to the woods to find just the right Christmas trees and the kids table at Christmas dinner. I miss Grandma Norton and dinner at her house followed by presents followed by DQ ice cream cake for Carol's birthday. Every once in awhile, I catch a whiff of her perfume. I think she's just checking in to see that everything is o.k.
There is no rhyme or reason to this post. Just ramblings and reflections as the Thanksgiving holiday winds down and the Christmas race winds up. Somewhere in the midst of it all I will find the time to finish what needs to be done, to make the things that need to be made, to grade the papers, to do the work, to celebrate. But I'll stop from time to time and take it all in. I'll sit with the girls and cuddle, marveling in their spirit and energy. For now, I think I'll go read a bit before bed. It's been a long day!