For some two decades December 23 was a frenzy of busyness. The day started with working whatever job I had at the time and after my commute home, continued with my Mommy job: loving and caring for my child, preparing salad or cooking for Christmas Eve, wrapping those last gifts and trying to figure out how everything was going to fit in my Geo Prizm. (Little people get big toys!) Add why, oh why, did I volunteer to bring folding chairs?
I would get angry that my spouse wouldn’t help. I now realize that I acted so capable and cheerful (Look, my car is Santa’s sleigh in the driveway!) that I made it look easy. But it was disappointing.
For the past few days I’ve been frantically wondering what I forgot, why was I so complacent, surely something important hasn’t been done! And today, at my desk, it dawned on me: My life is easier now. Big kids get smaller-sized gifts. No husband to let me down. I will go to my brother’s house and I did not offer to bring anything more than a cake and a farmers-market pie. I will wear jeans, a beautiful sweater and maybe Grinch socks. My family is glad to sit on the floor; it means that so many of us are together and we don’t care if we may be short a couple of silly chairs. (Best part: nobody expects me to host since I now live in a neighborhood that is known for scarce parking.)
So December 23, 2013: I baked my father’s favorite pineapple cake. I did laundry. I wrote a blog post. I’ll have some frozen yogurt in front of the lit tree and, with a candle twinkling on the kitchen table, I’ll appreciate this peace because I’ve earned it.
- Weekly Writing Challenge: Ghosts of December 23rds Past (dailypost.wordpress.com)