Going against my nature

I’m a natural pessimist. I can always be counted to pop whatever balloon of happiness you have going on. (in reality I do try not to rain on the parades of others out loud, but if you were in my head, well it’s a whole other story) The point is that I’ve had several topics to post rolling around in my head the last day or two, things like how annoying it is when you think you’re done Christmas shopping only to get a package from aunt Sally or your brother-in-law Ned or the lady down the street who’s dog keeps you up at night and you now feel obligated to get them a gift. Or about how most of the time these days my fondest dream is to be able to sleep in as long as I want and then get up and lie on a sunny beach reading all day. Without children.

But in the interest of the season I’m not going to (not any more than I already have anyway) instead I’m going to pat myself on the back for the fact that while my children were out playing in the snow the other day I didn’t do the dishes and I didn’t sit down with a good book, I didn’t even log on to the internet. I got out a pot and filled it with water and warmed it on the stove. Then I got out two blankets and set them in front of the TV and then I picked out a DVD. So, when my two rosy cheeked cherubs came in I helped then out of their cold wet clothes, cheerfully and without one grumble concerning wet or dirty floors. I got them into clean dry clothes and then served up hot (warm) chocolate while each snuggled into his or her own blanket and watched Charlotte’s web.

And you know what? It was fun.

Odds are most of you are saying, well duh! But I’m not a real doting mom, I never have been. I’m not crafty and I’m not patient so I don’t do those kinds of cute projects and I often don’t have time to do those kinds of things but it was fun enough that I may make the time. And in that spirit I’ve found myself sitting smiling as they endlessly arrange and rearrange the gifts under the tree, I remember doing that and I’ve decided that that’s part of the wonder of Christmas (something that I really miss as an adult) so I let them even though they make a mess of the living room not to mention losing tags and bows and tearing wrapping-paper.

The point? It’s the same old one you get in so many places this season (and if it sounds trite bear in mind that it’s foreign to my nature), but in view of this night at work (trust me when I tell you that you don’t want to hear about what’s going on here at the children’s hospital tonight): It’s time to slow down and enjoy what you have going on right in front of you. Hug your kids when you can and every once in a while just smile and let them get excited, even when it makes a mess. And if you can’t do it this week when can you?

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