And just like that, Christmas has come and gone. While I absolutely love this season and everything it brings, I do tend to have those “bah humbug” thoughts creep in. All of that effort and now it’s over. What can I say, I am my father’s daughter. A man who showed me the true meaning of Christmas in the way he served others while simultaneously lamenting over the commercialism and greed of it all. I will forever be grateful for his example for the years that I had with him. Because I still carry them with me even today – twenty seven years later. I digress. This Christmas was a wonderful one for our family minus poor Blair’s accident (I know – more on that in a moment). And just like we do every year, the Bearded Gentleman and I finish up the wrapping, set everything out under the tree on Christmas Eve, stepped back, and audibly sighed in unison. Then we look at each other and say, “we pulled it off again”. It’s the unseen effort of those holiday memories, you know? Where, come Christmas Day it feels like you just crossed the finish line of a marathon.
However, no matter the amount of effort behind the scenes, as parents we know what the reward is. It’s knowing that the memories we are working so hard to cultivate within our homes and families are the ones that our kids will be recalling when they are grown. The ones that will instantly fill them with that warmth and comfort of days gone by. Perhaps it will be during years in the future where they spend the holidays away from home with their own families, or maybe farther down the road when we ourselves are just a memory. Our kids will recall these times happening right now when they feel that ache or hole left behind. I don’t know about you, but that hits different when I allow myself a moment to think about it. Especially when that reflection comes in the midst of holiday stress and sometimes drama. Because, to be honest, I’m just thankful for another holiday season in the books with these cubs of ours. Because I know holidays missing a loved one and goodness gracious, I’ll take as many as I can get with mine.
I’m in this for the long term game. Bring on the marathon every year if it means getting to do it at all.
Speaking of that unseen effort…
When the littlest brother doesn’t care for the posing idea given by the oldest brother…
…and when the maternal older sister tries to work with what she has to pull off said photo opp because of an angry mother’s complaining behind the camera…
And there we have it. A photo opp of the annual Christmas pajamas with a side of family drama. And tell me you’re the youngest sibling without telling me you’re the youngest sibling. Brooks will go first…
We started off the day so strong. Her numbers were beautiful, we didn’t have a worry in the world as we all enjoyed opening up gifts. One of which was a brand new scooter for Blair.
Along with everyone else and their new outdoor toys, we headed out to give them all a spin. Too much hill and her scooter started to wobble. Blair tried to bail but her legs couldn’t keep up with the speed that her scooter was going. I have never seen one of my kids take such a hard fall and it’s a Christmas miracle we didn’t end up in the emergency room with a broken bone, a head injury, or knocked out teeth. Seriously, it was horrific to watch.
Just like this brood does every time though, they rallied around her. Dad scooped her up and started running for home. Tanner grabbed the little one’s skateboards and scooters, and Blake threw Brooks on her back so we could keep up the pace and follow as closely behind Dad as we could. Watching Blair’s Christmas Day take that kind of turn affected us all more than I ever expected. And we all agreed we wished it could have been anyone else because she already deals with so much.
But in true Blair style, she dried her tears and did her best to soak in the rest of the day – bumps, scrapes, and all. My heart ached for her, but I am so grateful it was minor in the grand scheme of things. And I told her that everyone has that one Christmas that just didn’t go their way. Mine was 11 years old when I woke up with the stomach flu and opened my gifts that day lying flat on my back to keep from being sick!
Do you have one of those Christmases that was less than stellar or one that you can now look back on and laugh over? I would love if you posted it in the comments below. I have an eight-year-old that I’m sure would love the solidarity of knowing others have experienced a bad Christmas Day.
And here’s to the unseen effort of those holiday memories. To each of my fellow mamas… I see you. And you are doing amazing.