Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Here it is -- 2011!

Although I know that 2010 had it's great moments for me (my wonderful international students; my trip home to NL, friends, gardening, etc); when I think of the end of 2010, it conjures up images of saying goodbye to my childhood home, the pain & frustration of a broken foot, and a somewhat crabby Christmas.
Not all of Christmas. Most of it was great! But for the first time ever, there were moments during my Christmas that I did not enjoy! And I'm a Christmas person!
But I made a discovery this Christmas about myself. A not so nice discovery. I suffer from "Norman Rockwell syndrome" ... you know, that state of thinking that Christmas will be wonderful and fluffy and loving and perfect just like the Norman Rockwell pictures. Yup! And I was bitterly disappointed when the dream was not a reality.
Anyone else out there suffer from this disease?
How do you deal with it?
It began with children who were excited to be back home again ... yet spent most of their time with others! (Cue music for sorry, sad, lonely, broken-footed, self-pitying Mommy.) It moved on to indignation when there was a lack of interest by at least half the kids in participating in our annual cookie-making day. ("But we always do this! It's my favorite family tradition!"). And it went on to full-blown crabbiness when I seemed to be the whole cheerleading squad for our usual Xmas Eve meal & celebrations. ("Come on! You want Chinese food, don't you? Yes, let's hold hands while we ask the blessing. Anyone want to go to the candle-lit service with me?")
Oh yeah!! They all wanted to get up Christmas morning and have a special breakfast and open gifts. So, on Dec 25th with the turkey roasting in the oven and fresh cinnamon rolls & fruit salad on the prettily-decorated table, I waited. But no one mentioned that they weren't interested enough to actually set their alarm and that they expected me to hobble up and down stairs to wake them!
Boy! If Sandra Claus had only known a little earlier how these spoiled, ungrateful kids would take advantage of their hard-working, self-sacrificing, only-wanting-to-make-it-perfect Mommy! Well let's just say that there would have been more coal and less chocolate in the socks!
So, while the 1st child up was waking the 2nd, and the 2nd the 3rd, and so on; and while these kids came bleary-eyed & staggering from their warm beds; I found a little corner by myself and prayed. "Please God; help me to put aside my frustrations. And help us to have a wonderful day!"
He did! And we did! Christmas Day was great, really great! There were presents galore, glorious food, lots of laughter, and the kids did the clean-up! I was then, as usual, off duty for the rest of the season. I now had time to sit and relax. And God got me while I was relaxing.
You know how when you ask God to help other people straighten up, He will bless you for your thoughtfulness in strange and wonderful ways? Well, while I was busy observing the speck in my kids eyes', He showed me the yule log in my own eye! The rather large, ridiculous yule log that had been keeping me from seeing that a wonderful Christmas for my kids was just being home with me! That the security of home and mother was a huge gift to them. And that the rest of the "dressing" wasn't that important to them and was actually for me! ("Turkey dressing" would be appropriate, I believe! And we could add a little humble pie for balance!)
God spoke to me about letting go; about how giving the girls memories of a house full of love and peace is far superior to memories of pretty decorations and a crabby mother. Cookie-making day may not necessarily be gone; perhaps it's just put aside for a while!
What a dork I can be! It's a good thing my kids love me. It's an even better thing that God loves me! Ladies and gentlemen! I am a .
Was I able to immediately stop being crabby after God's talk? No, not always. And I'm sure that the continued (but somewhat lessened) pain and frustration of my broken foot didn't help things! (But the wine, turkey sandwiches, jig saw puzzles and the chocolate sure did.)My girls had to have a stern talk with me at least twice. "Mom, relax!" "Just ask us, Mom." "We love you, Mom."
And if I did find myself becoming crabby, I was now able to recognize it and keep my mouth shut as I prayed again. (This also helped me to curb my overwhelming impulse to blugeon the so-called offender with my turkey drumstick and/or return all their Santa gifts for a cash refund.) See, I'm not beyond hope or redemption!
Thanks God! You're the greatest! (And I am but lowly worm sweat!)
So, Happy New Year fellow bloggies!
I'm sure you all join me in embracing the wonderfully clean slate of 2011.

(Day 4 and the slate's still clean! So far, so good!)


Aunt of 14 said...

Oh, these sound like growing pains! You can never ever be too old for growing pains. Yeah, I have been there with the disappointment, then I learned to let go of "expectations" and just let things be.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

What a wonderful post! I think all moms with adult or almost adult children go through the process of letting go often. It's so different from when they were little and they mostly did what we told them to do. What makes your post so special was the prayer and the gift you received. God does speak to us, but we are not always listening or even want to hear what He has to say. Happy New Year and blessings for a wonderful year ahead.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Norman Rockwell is overrated. I like your new header photo -- very exuberant! Is that Peggy's Cove?

Terra said...

This is a post full of funny takes on expectations, Christmas, and adult children returning home. I am glad no one was bludgeoned with a turkey leg! You came to some great insights after quiet moments of prayer. Yes, time with family is all precious time.

Low Tide High Style said...

Aww, I'm glad it all worked out in the end. Sometimes letting go of those sacred family traditions is hard, but it just means you have an opportunity to create new ones! And I'm pretty sure that most of those people in the Norman Rockwell holiday paintings were drunk...they look WAY too happy! ;)

Happy New Year!

Kat :)

Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

Thank you for your insights into turkey legs and Norman Rockwell drunks. They certainly help me feel better.

And yes, Debra. That is Peggy's Cove October 2010.

Mitzi said...

I understand totally!

Maureen said...

It's a bridge we must cross with kids growing up. My Christmas was similar and I was fine with it but my husband...crabby!

Eva Gallant said...

Kids! They have their foibles, and their sweet sides!

Life is good! said...

i gave up the vision of a norman rockwell christmas years ago. but i still carry it in my heart. have a great new year!

Nezzy said...

Yep, positute, absolutely I suffer too. I try to pull off that perfect Christmas every blessed year. The decorations, the bible reading, fudge, cider, music, meal, pies, presents. Why I'm I surprised over spilled cider, dropped plates and screamin' toddlers. Why must my two spawn choose that day to have a spat???

I'm a slow learner or a dumb as a stack of bricks 'cause ya can bet next year I'll be havin' the same dreams!

God bless ya and have a exceptional year...no matter what!

High Heeled Life said...

love the new header!!Hi there my friend.. hello from the heart of Buenos Aires!! I have missed your wondeful posts... I am finally at a hotel with great WIFI and no voltage converter for my lap top...but the hotel business centre is a little less busy today ..and so I don´´t feel guilty taking up computer time...Hope the new year has gotten off to a great start.. will catch up when I am back on North American soil... XO HHL

Pam @ Frippery said...

Yes I have been there as well. The past two years though I have lightened up on everyone. I realized I am the one who wants the loads of decorations and story book Christmas. The rest are just happy to have a relaxing time off school and down time from working. So I decorate and make things the way I like for ME not for them and the day is great for all. The kids are sweet and loving and don't sigh (too much) at any corniness mom may come up with. Now taking it all down...well...maybe a bit crabby, but my own fault right? I think God is telling me that I am focusing too much on the outward dressing and not the important inside the spirit things. Can't I do both?

A human kind of human said...

I am so glad to find that God does that with someone else also. Whenever I complain to Him about how my Hubby and children treat (mistreat) me, He has a habit of showing me the cracks in myself and I have to go and seal up those cracks first... and funny thing is that, usually, by the time I've dealt with those cracks, their behaviour has improved 100%. I guess that is just the way He works with us. Lots of love and blessings for 2011 from a very hot ZA.

Sharon said...

Oh my gosh! Thank you so much for diagnosing my recent holiday disease. I had the Norman Rockwell symptoms, also. Just couldn't accept that everyone had plans that didn't include me and that no one consulted me before making them. Finally had to say "get over it"! Then I started to enjoy my first Christmas of being retired, being thankful for my beautiful family and willing to make myself busy and happy.

Love thrifting too!