It's almost Christmas, five days to be exact. I hate to admit it, but as an adult, I've never really been a big fan of Christmas. It's all commercial and so overly hyped up that, honestly, no one could really live up to it. It's just a huge set up to an equally huge let down.
When my kids were little, some of the magic came back for me. Christmas through a child's eyes is magical and wondrous and infectious. I started to actually enjoy Christmas again. Then, the kids grew.
Let's face it, kids are born selfish. When a baby is hungry, he cries until he's fed, it's human nature, it's how they survive, I get it. I just wasn't aware that my 14 year old was at risk of death if he doesn't have a cell phone. That a Nintendo DSi was crucial to my 8 year old son's survival. No parenting book ever taught me that my 9 year old will absolutely perish if he has to wait one more year for an iPod.
Family Christmas visits are a disaster. What, in my mind, should be a Norman Rockwell painting of my extended family enjoying my wonderfully polite and well behaved children turns into a soccer game in my Aunt's family room resulting in a spilled drink and me melting down.
The Christmas season in my house is the joy of breaking up four fights over who's turn it is to mix the cookie dough. It's the harmony of White Christmas playing on the stereo whilst my four year old accompanies good ole' Bing with a temper tantrum.
In spite of all this, as Christmas draws near, I am sad. I am sad because as a divorced Mom, my oldest five children will be spending Christmas with their Father this year. Brian and I will only have our four year old for Christmas. It will be so quiet as Aidan will have no one to tease and torture him. I won't have any fights to break up but I also won't get to see the faces of my older kids upon opening their presents on Christmas morning. I am hosting a family Christmas with my own family fractured and incomplete.
As I write this I have become melancholy and a bit sappy, because after all, my kids are at school and I am becoming delusional in the peace and quiet. I'm sure when they get home they will snap me back to reality.
So, for this year, I get to skip the whining and crying and fighting and disappointment over what presents they DIDN'T get. I will call my children on Christmas morning at their Father's house and hear about their gifts and they will tell me that they miss me and they wish that they were home for Christmas. I will smile and tell them that I miss them too (because I will) and I will know all the while that my ex will have to deal with the reality of it all, if only for one weekend, and I will be just fine.
Merry Christmas everyone!