Friday, December 11, 2009

Toward Bethlehem

This morning my pops came over just to watch the kids for me so I could grocery shop. It made my day. Shopping with my kids takes so much energy out of me, makes me feel anxious and dismayed. When I do take them shopping I try to appear cheerful, but inside I'm saying "HELP ME!" But I do try because nobody likes to see a mama carting her kids around with a big sneer on her face, hair disheveled and and beads of sweat forming a mustache on her upper lip. It invites people to ask themselves questions under their breaths like, "Why keep having all those kids if you so clearly dislike them?" I can see it in their eyes. And I wish I could tell them without being a total nut, that I'm really not that bad of a mother! I'm just kind of tired, I'm just having an off day, I'm just not good at negotiating a cumbersome and cantankerous cart (why is it I always get the carts with wobbly wheels that only want to veer to the left?) I'm just, I'm just, I'm just......
I really like coming home to those little cherubic darlings AFTER I've done the shopping. Thanks, Dad!

Now that the pantry and fridge are full, we've settled in for the day with books, movies, and crafts.

Oh and laundry. I've been at war with the laundry for the past several days, and I am losing. I just cannot catch up. Cloth diapers? Forget it. Not this week. You need socks? Better go to the nearest box store and buy yourself a package of them. But that is a venture not for the weary, this time of year.

I'm trying very hard to keep my eyes on the Nativity of the Lord - to make it much more than retail. The two times I've ventured into Retail Land (and this was one time with just one child, and the other with my dear husband) I felt myself nearing a zombie-like state. It was physically exhausting. The sappy music (and I do enjoy lots of Christmas music that isn't performed by Michael Bolton and Celine Dion) was so physically irritating, my head was pounding. I developed a blank stare to cope with my overstimulated mind. My internal distress was only heightened as I saw a young dad with his little girl of about six, on a chilly,rainy day, wearing strappy, stiletto heels. I gagged. I told myself I was being judgemental. But crimony! What is wrong with people? I held my five year old with her sensible rain boots close and prayed she would not notice that there was a little girl about her age in shoes that she would not be allowed to wear for another decade, at least. Ugh. I suppose the blatant and often accepted sexualization of children is another post. Alas, I felt instantly better upon exit and my taking deep cleansing breaths of unfiltered, crisp air.

But to the Nativity we go! And unto all that is lovely - these things I strive to gaze upon. For one, I have begun A Christmas Carol. I've never read any Dickens before (I KNOW! I'm so uncultured.) and I'm finding it very readable and lots of fun. Obviously I know the story and have seen the movie - the best one that pales all others with Alaster Sims just about every year at Christmastime. I have zero desire to see the newest Disney one. Anyway, it makes me want to read more of his works.

Also the kids and I are reading lots of Jan Brett books by recommendations from several other blogs. They're so beautifully illustrated. We also love The Christmas Story by Gennady Spirin.

We started decorating and this weekend we plan to put up the tree. The wreath is up, though looking slightly forlorn at the pile of pumpkins that have yet to have been discarded next to the front door. I'll get to them when I get to them. And another thing that needs tending to is Christmas cards. I told my mom last night on the phone that sending out Christmas cards is the bane of my December existence. I'm a jerk that loves getting them, but hates the trouble of sending them out. But! My mom and and dad, and Jason's parents both have already sent their cards out with - oh joy! - pictures of us and our kids on them. So I kinda figured it got me out of them. That's what I'm telling myself anyway. So, if you are not on my parent's or in-law's Christmas card lists - this is just in case I happen to not get to them accidentally on purpose:

We wish you a blessed Advent and a most Merry Christmas!!
Love, The S. Family


Blogger elizabeth said...

I hear you. Stores can be super overstimulating and dealing with kids and shopping must be really hard. Hang in there! It's okay to do things as you can!

Blessed Christmas!

2:44 PM  
Blogger Jamie said...

LOL! Your post cracks me up. First off, Hallelujah on your Dad coming to watch the kids. And you know what else, I don't think ANYBODY is looking at you and thinking "Why doesn't she stop having kids?" They are most likely looking at you going "Oh, what a cute mom with her cute kids." Or they're thinking "Yep, I've been there before." You are way too hard on yourself.
That's a great family picture. I hope you frame that one!

9:37 PM  
Blogger Yara said...

I truly doubt anyone could ever think YOU'RE a bad mother in any way. You're like the picture of perfection : )
I'm supposed to get a christmas tree and put it up today too.

12:01 PM  
Blogger Mimi said...

I hear you too, and I literally laughed at your comment about Christmas music - I am the same way.

10:54 AM  

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