With two boys sleeping peacefully, mercifully, beautifully in the back seat, we drove 3 hours to my in-laws’ house on Christmas Eve. Every Christmas Eve goes this way when your husband works retail. He gets off work at 5pm and, if you’re lucky like us, he gets Christmas Day off, only to return to work the next day. That’s only because he’s the Boss Man, not because they close the store. He did his time working Christmas Day, believe me.
Anyway, he had just gotten off of working 9 straight days in a row, and I had just gotten off of duty as sole caretaker of the children. The day did not go well up to this point and a 3 hour car ride did not look appealing after the nightmare I had just gone through at home. Squeaker had taken off his medication patches and spent the day fighting me and his brother with gusto. His brother spent the day doing an awesome job telling me he needed to go potty, but asked to go in what seemed like 5 minute intervals. Every time I sat down, I had to get back up again. The car ride started off with a poop accident and some yelling. So, when the kids fell asleep in the car, it felt like a Christmas miracle.
Oh Holy Night, the Stars Were Brightly Shining…
Surely, divine intervention was involved here.
We safely transferred our little angels to bed once we reached our destination without awakening them (Hallelujah), and had some adult time before going to bed ourselves. Thankfully, we did not partake in last-minute gift-wrapping, so we only had to put the presents under the tree. I mean, we only had to wait for Santa to put the presents under the tree. One glass of wine later, and Santa went to bed. I guess he didn’t want cookies.
Big Guy woke up at 6:30am and my father-in-law got him, but I got up because I knew he had no idea about the potty routine. A mother’s job never ends, you know. We got Big Guy on the potty and he peed right away, he got his sticker and we cheered. My FIL asked when to take him next and I guess he was trying to offer to let me go back to bed, but once I’m up, I’m up. The Manager, though, remained sound asleep, and I let him snooze while I got dressed, did a once over on my hair, and put on some make-up. I went downstairs and spent time with Big Guy, my FIL and my brother-in-law alone, which I usually never do.
I think this Christmas I did much better bonding with my in-laws. Perhaps part of it is my confidence level as a mother. Part is my confidence level as a person has increased. I’ve gotten better. And, you know. I’ve gotta talk eventually. I think maybe an hour later, Squeaker got up, and then The Manager got up. We opened up one present at a time at least an hour apart, if not more, while we waited for my sister-in-law to get there. The first present held them off for a couple of hours. It got them excited (we got Squeaker his Cockroach Terminator and Big Guy a dragon from How to Train Your Dragon). My in-laws did a great job with their Christmas presents for them. They opened their presents and then went around yelling “Turtle Power!” the rest of the day.
The swords might be the bane of my existence, though, as we continue to work on coaching them not to use them as actual weapons on each other. Perhaps I should not have thought it was so cute when Big Guy relentlessly attacked his Uncle…
All-in-all, the first part of Christmas day went really well. We celebrated Christmas joyfully.
We went on a long walk with my mother-in-law and brother-in-law while my father-in-law stayed home and watched Squeaker and Big Guy and waited on my sister-in-law. During the 4 mile walk we talked and it felt good because I actually talked and enjoyed myself and felt comfortable. When we got back, the whole family finally had arrived and we finished opening presents. The kids loved their gifts and truly expressed their thanks for everything. The rest of Christmas included a LeapReader Junior and LeapPal for Big Guy and a Polaroid Tablet for Squeaker.
After that, we ate dinner. Surprisingly enough, the kids ate pretty well. I mean, initially, Squeaker refused to eat. He took one bite of the Cajun Turkey and swore the spiciness would kill him. I think he got a piece of the skin, because the meat itself lacked any real spice. After many, many meltdowns, I took him upstairs and layed down with him and talked to him about it. I told him about the stuffing and how it tasted like bread. I talked to him about the cranberry sauce and how his brother loved it because it tasted like candy. I told him that just because the turkey sat on his plate, he didn’t have to eat it. He jumped out of bed, skipped downstairs, and ate. In fact, he even tried the turkey again and exclaimed, “I love it! It’s not spicy!” He wound up eating plate after plate of turkey.
Those moments shined for us. Even the ride home, our cherubs slept again. Another three hours of welcome peace. How did we get so lucky? I’ll never know.
I will focus on those shining moments of peace and joy for now. I will focus on the good. Because that’s what Christmas is about. It’s a celebration.
I hope yours was Merry and Bright. You can share your Christmas memories in the comments below!!
Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.