Saturday, December 27, 2014

Post-Christmas Magic

Oh, the holidays.  Happy, happy!  Joy, joy!  Merry, merry!  It's the most wonderful time of the year!  Children especially just have that special little way of making you believe in the magic all over again.  Because with every cell in their tiny little bodies, they believe...  So much bliss, so many traditions, so many presents.

And then, in the middle of it all at our home, that one little word came------>

hate (hāt) verb:   
feel intense or passionate dislike for (someone)

It threatened to ruin the holidays.  

"I HATE you!" she screamed.

Yep.  It was uttered at the beginning of what I envisioned would be the start of a brilliant holiday break.  My fantasy went something like this:  visions of sugar-plum fairies dancing all around me and my itty-bittys with constant smiles and happy, easy children.  Children dressed in their cute Christmas outfits, in the best of moods every moment.  Because after-all, SANTA is coming!

Life is just messy, though, isn't it?  Fantasyland is no reality when there are two little lives running around trying to learn how to be.  Perfection is a lark when there's a 6-year old girl and 8-year old boy figuring out what it all means.

It had been a lovely night.  Cozied in by the fire.  And then the venom came...

It always happens like that with children.  The highs and lows are so vast, so quick to change.  Happy and carefree one minute, the depths of despair and hatred the next. 

This was NOT supposed to be part of the holiday break.  I'm not supposed to hear words like "hate" this time of year.  Reality was, exhaustion had set in, and there was just nothing more she could take.  (I'd be exhausted, too, if I were a child in this day and age.  Screen time, elves-on-shelves, school parties, and way too much sugar.)

Calm existed for all of two seconds.

Then, his turn.

"I want a new family." 

What?  Words that cut deep.  No excuse for such talk, but if I'm being real and not living in fantasyland, I do recall running away from home myself a few times, annoyed with my family and all their 'stuff'.  That moment hearing it from your own child, though...  you think you've failed as a mother.  

I wanted to lay down and cry.  And I think I did for a few minutes.  But while I was lamenting their meltdowns by having my own, they managed to quickly turn it all around.

They were whispering how excited they were for momma to open the gifts they made, couldn't wait to see my face.

How can it just flip -so quickly-?


accept (something) as true; feel sure of the truth of.

I'm convinced it's because they believe.  They believe in the magic, in the goodness and innocence of life.  They don't get stuck, and they believe at the end of the day that all is well in their little worlds.  They haven't yet seen the horror life can and will bring.  

It's beautiful to watch.  And it's a gift and privilege I'm grateful for each day.  Maybe, just maybe, by watching them, I, too, will believe again.  

Until then, this----->

“I am your mother, the first mile of your road. Me and all my obvious and hidden limitations. That means that in addition to possibly wrecking you, I have the chance to give to you what was given to me: a decent childhood, more good memories than bad, some values, a sense of tribe, a run at happiness. You can't imagine how seriously I take that - even as I fail you. Mothering you is the first thing of consequence that I have ever done.” 

~Kelly Corrigan 

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