So I messed up as a parent this week. Have you ever done that? I'm sure I'm not alone and I take great comfort in that. I actually messed up on a few things, but one has just been weighing on me more than the fact that I hate Harper's cupcake when she was asleep.
I've always been a HUGE Thanksgiving fan. It's my favorite holiday. To me, it always feels like Christmas, but without all of the stress. And...my birthday usually falls right around Thanksgiving, making a nice, tasty meal to be eaten on my special day. :)
I love everything about Thanksgiving. I love that it's in the fall. I love that it's primarily turkey and not ham. I hate ham. I love that it's just our intimate family sitting around eating and watching football. Just like the perfect American home should look on such a fine holiday.
One thing that bothers me more than anything in the world is when people put up their Christmas decorations and tree BEFORE Thanksgiving. I feel like you might as well slap Indians and Pilgrims in the face. Am I right?
This year... This year, we have a lot going on. I mean, that's really no surprise since we always have a lot going on, but this year I started to look at our calendar and hyperventilate. Since November has the extra week in it, it really throws Thanksgiving off. It puts it at the very end of the month. Is this a huge problem? No. However, I host Bunco in December. (Which is 4 days after Thanksgiving.) Everyone knows you are supposed to have your Christmas decor up for the December Bunco. It's an unwritten/unspoken law. Actually, it was spoken at the November Bunco.
Now, I know what you're thinking...I can do it the weekend after Thanksgiving. BUT!! I can't. I can't because Bayler is in the Nutcracker this year and she has rehearsal the weekend after Thanksgiving. I can't because we will probably be doing something with Kurt's family. (His sister is having a baby Monday.) I can't because (insert 100 excuses here).
So, Monday, while the kids were away at school, I decided to get the decorations down and put them up myself. I was amazed at how quickly I got it all done. Only a few hours since I didn't have 4 year old twins at my feet or a 10 year old thinking he could string everything up himself. It was silent in the house as I did it, which is different from the traditional Christmas music playing while we decorate. In no time at all, the house was done, my work was finished, and I was able to sit back and admire it all.
Then, the kids came home. The girls were excited because "everything is beautiful, mommy!" Drennen walked into the house, looked around and said, "You put the Christmas Tree up without me?" As I quickly explained that I put it up without anyone, I could see that it didn't matter.
You see, here's how the chaos usually plays out. We pop in a Christmas CD. We always buy a new artist each year and take turns picking. We turn it up loud. We have two trees happening at one time. The kids tree with all of the special, handmade ornaments; and the adult tree that looks perfect with no room for error. Everyone has jobs and duties and everyone gets to pitch in. We get to talk about the memories that come with each ornament and laugh about the botched salt dough ornaments I tried making for them one year. (TOTAL FAIL!) Sometimes, there's raised voices. (Usually by me.) And sometimes I get annoyed because I want things to be perfect, but the laughter that we have as a family makes up for an ornament or decoration being out of place.
This year...I put the decorations up alone and in silence. I missed out on an entire year of memories with my kids and husband because I was so worried about not having time to get it done for Bunco. Which, I might add, is a group of ladies who wouldn't care if we had our game night in a cardboard box as long as we got to spend that time together.
So...today I took down my decorations. Everything but the big tree, I should say. I can't wait for them to come home and find it gone. And I can't wait for Kurt to return from Oklahoma so he can help us all put it back together. It's not worth the silence and perfection to miss out on the laughter and the smiles.
I messed up this week as a parent.
But today, today I am fixing it.
"God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved."- Psalms 46:5
Whitney B. Cromley
Follower of Jesus.