Thursday, December 10, 2009

Musings from a crabby mama

I didn't love today. Heck, I didn't even like today. But in the midst of a relatively crappy day, there were some highlights. And so I want to dwell on those, if only to remind myself that in every crappy day, there are some surprisingly not-crappy linings:

(1) Watching Jack and Andrew laughing to the Curious George movie, their faces glowing from the TV since the bedroom light was turned off. It was way past their bedtime, Steve was still gone, Simone was uncomfortably fidgety in my lap while I rocked her, but then...I looked over at these sweet, sweet, sweet boys just beaming at that crazy monkey. And their faces were of such pure child-like delight - the beautiful joy on their face - that it almost took my breath away.

(2) Steve was out until about 9, and I don't do bedtime well when I'm solo. So, we went driving to look at Christmas lights, hoping to lure them all to sleep (didn't happen...see #1). I found out about a street that goes all out, so we went there. This street was perhaps THE most RIDICULOUSLY overdecorated street I'd ever seen. No joke. Two houses in particular, so I suspect there's some neighborly competition.

Anyhoo, I saw the guy standing outside, so I put my car into park. Got out and said: "So are you responsible for all this festivity?" He looked so proud and said "indeed." I told him what a gift it was to the community...how amazed my children were...and how much it meant that he put in all.that.work.

And then, I got choked up. Okay, I'll admit it. There were even tears. Not big ugly tears. But there was no denying that I was oddly emotional about the Christmas lights. Sheesh.

I love Christmas and I'm all about human emotion, but that was a low point. He had a food shelf collection box in his front yard, and it just seemed like too much goodness and too much lovely humanity to contain myself.

I figured he'd think I was creepy, but he just seemed pleased and appreciative (or he hid his fear of my creepiness well). To have invested all those hours of life units, it probably helped to see a crazy lady crying over them. He said he had 4 sons and they loved putting them all out. What a lovely childhood memory for them.

I got back in my minivan (filled with slightly irritable, overtired children) feeling really good about the world. Although, it was a long drive home, so most of that wore off and I went back to being crabby.

(3) Dinner turned out great. I mean, really great. Where it's easy, cheap, delicious, healthy, and my kids ask for seconds [insert moment of silence].

(4) Steve telling the boys that everyone who went to the bathroom before bed would get a hug as a reward...and then Andrew running out of the bathroom and into Steve's arms, exuberantly happy to get a hug. That kid, I tell you. He's something else.

(5) Also from That Kid: On the way home from #2, he said in the car, "When I get bigger, I'm going to be a daddy. And I want there to be a mommy too. And I want her to be a mermaid." I have absolutely no idea where this came from or what it meant, but I just adored it. He said it so seriously, so sweetly, and with such meaning behind it.


My Jerry Springer morality-moment at the end of this post is this: Some days are just crap. Crap, I tell you! But at the end of the day, I have these sweet, charming, funny little kids to tuck into bed (even if it is 3 hours past their bedtime). And there are persons out there who will spend weeks putting up Christmas lights, just to bring joy to other people. And our family has food. Great, soul-and-body nourishing food.

We are truly blessed. Crabby, but blessed.

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