Sunday, December 12, 2010
Did'ja think I'd died? It's been a wild, busy, chaotic week. My daughter and her two girls were here this past week. Staying here. In my tiny tiny house. I actually babysat the girls the first night they were here while Katie and Zach enjoyed a night in San Diego. I was nervous. I've not had small children in my care overnight for years. We don't have a bathtub anymore (just showers), so Hayden got bathed in the sink. She didn't seem to mind it a bit. Mia and I played with the fairy castle and fairies and unicorn while Hayden crawled into it, over it, and through it. Soon enough it was time for Hayden to go to bed and she went without crying. Yay! - points for me. Mia and I watched a movie and then she settled down to sleep on a sleeping bag at the side of our bed. Hayden woke up only once (just like Mommy said she would) but went right back to sleep. And, just like Mommy said, they were up before the crack of dawn. In California this time of year it isn't quite light at 6am. Mia looked out the window and said "It's not a sunshiny day..." I told her it soon would be, but that the sun wasn't up yet. No matter - we went downstairs for breakfast: pumpkin pancakes. Mia was skeptical, but loved them so much she wanted them every day.
I was actually successful watching them overnight! This may not seem like a big deal to most of you, but I'm not, and never have been, much of a kid person. Oh, I like kids, and I enjoyed my own, but I don't love to sit on the floor and play and pretend and play endless games. I'd much rather be out doing something. Maybe that's where my daughter gets it - she's the same way. I've always been self conscious that I'm not that great with kids. Never been the type that every kid gravitates to. (That would be my mom.) The time I really start enjoying them is when you can have a conversation with them. And we're just starting to enter that era, so the fun is beginning. My confidence is growing.
I worked at least part of the day the entire week they were here. I knew Katie had planned to see several friends, so I wasn't worried she'd be bored. Unfortunately, her car had some problems, and for a few days she was unable to drive it. I adjusted my schedule at work and took a couple of half days. Ashley was able to come and help her out one day, and she and Scott stayed for dinner that night. It was so fun to have them all here - although that was early in the week and I was still adjusting to my house being blown up. Sadly I did have a couple of moments I'm not proud of - the chaos and the small space got to me. That, combined with a bad day at work made for a not very nice me. Thank goodness for kids who love me anyway and are way more patient and forgiving than I have any right to expect. And thank goodness for the sweetest little girls in the world, who were so excited to see me at any time of day or night. All they wanted was my attention, and a little snuggle time in a chair watching a movie. It heals your soul, is what it does.
Their last day here we went to see "Tangled." If you haven't seen it yet, make sure you do. It's so good. I sat next to Mia. She shared her popcorn with me, and we laughed and laughed. It was a good afternoon. I shared Red Vines and Junior Mints with Katie and Ashley. Ahhh... good candy, a Diet Coke, and a great movie with people you have fun with - it doesn't get any better than that.
Saturday morning was crazy trying to get their car packed up, checking and rechecking rooms to make sure that nothing was left behind. Poor Katie wasn't feeling well, and as it turns out was actually coming down with the flu (please please don't let me get it!) and had a miserable ride home. No bueno. Mia cried when they left and I cried. Ten minutes later my phone rang and it was Mia, telling me thank you and I love you and crying. I told her that I was crying too but that we needed to put our happy faces on, and she said she would. I tried, but I had to get in the shower and have a good boohoo before I could pull myself together. I find it's that way after every visit. The chaos is hard for me, and I long for some quiet time. Some down time. But when everyone is gone, and the house is all put back together and I finally have the quiet time I'd been wishing for, I want everyone to come back again. It's too quiet, and I start to feel bad about all the things we didn't have time to get to - or that I was too tired to do. (Damn this getting old stuff!) I can't seem to win this battle. But I'm starting to realize that a lot of people struggle in this same way, and for some weird reason, that's a comfort. As if maybe I'm not so crazy after all. Or defective or something.
Christmas is coming. The house is only half decorated. I'm having a hard time getting into it this year. My shopping is done, but very little is wrapped. L is downstairs right now getting the tree up and putting on the lights. (That's right -we're probably one of the few who have a fake tree who don't have a pre-lit one.) I've not been able to get excited about putting it up - as if I can delay the season or something. I'm just not looking forward to it. At all. Hopefully as I go through the motions this mood will disappear. I remember a Christmas several years ago when I felt the same way. I was a single mom then and my oldest was on his mission. I couldn't even begin to get excited about a tree or decorating. One of my daughter's good college water polo friends, who was a real family guy, went out and bought us a tree. I'll never forget it. Even now it brings tears to my eyes thinking about Scott Naples and his sweet Christmas gift to our sad little family. It snapped me right out of the doldrums I was in and put a warmth in my heart. Maybe I need to get busy doing for others - to find a way to get my mind off of that little sadness that's bothering me. A little Christmas cheer to take my mind off of myself. Because I need that small dark place in my heart to heal. I need a small miracle. Maybe this will be the year for that to happen.
Best medicine ever - isn't this a sweet picture of Mia flitting through her back yard like a magical fairy?
And Hayden, looking angelic in raspberry pink.
Yep - it was a great week with the girlies.