Have Yourself a Little Bit Sad Christmas
It’s Christmastime around here, and that means one thing — cleaning, cleaning and more cleaning. Between decluttering to make way for whatever Santa brings, and the scrubbing and polishing everything else to get ready for Christmas Day company, I’ve had my arms elbow deep in Murphy’s Oil Soap for a week. All this is made harder by the constant cry of “Don’t go in there!” whenever I venture toward a closed door or closet. With 8 people exchanging gifts, the entire house becomes one big booby trap of secreted packages. One of our Christmas morn traditions is the game “Guess where I hid it?” I still win with my husband’s 40th Birthday Present. I merely wrapped the 2′ by 3′ box in colourful paper and placed it on the shelf overhead of his work area. Here it sat for two or three weeks, in plain sight, as he typed daily at his computer below. Well, at least I can’t accuse him of wasting time while he’s working, staring at anything but his computer…
This Christmas has me a little pensive, too. Not regretful or sorrowful, but a bit sad. As 2011 comes to a close, I realize that another year with my young ones has also slipped pleasantly by. While I am no big fan of the baby stage, as I made painfully clear in my post on walking 3 kids to school in 90km/hour winds, I still can’t believe that my little baby is closer to 1 year old than she is to being a newborn. This September will also usher in a new phase for this big brood Mom. Princess will be 5 and starting Kindergarten. In 8 short weeks I will be attending the school’s Open House, and filling out her registration papers. And that first fall day that I walk her into her classroom, will also mark the first time I have the majority of my kids out of the house during the day, rather than at home with me.
2012 will be a year of firsts — and a year of lasts. This time next year, Tall Girl will be gearing up to attend Junior High Information Nights with us. The first of our children to leave Elementary School. But it will also be a year of packing up baby clothes, and sending maternity wear to the local thrift shop. Baby will stop needing to be rocked to sleep this year. Big Boy will learn how to zip his own jacket. Someone will take off her training wheels. I’ll be hands on mothering just a little big less.
This makes be both happy and sad. I know many Moms make a joke or a boast about how they’re “done with that.” And trust me, I get what they mean. But I still treasure the warm hands in mine, or the little boy who just needs a hug. These milestones come and go, and you don’t even realize that suddenly, you have a Tween in your house, who listens to strange music, and get’s pinched by the boy sitting next to her. It was just 5 years ago that you packed her first snack for Kindergarten, and walked her to the bus stop. Now she’s telling me she wants a bikini, and to dye her hair blue “temporarily.”
That’s why this Christmas season, I know now that no matter how many times the camera clicks, the glasses clink, the children squeal, that no matter how “perfect” the moment is, it’s all fleeting, tomorrow’s memories. So with all the joy, there is ever the slightest tinge of sadness, because I know that the moment, however wonderful, can’t last. So no matter what, I will have a Merry Christmas. Why? Because all this passing of time has helped me realized that happiness isn’t something you achieve, it’s something you have. And I have it in spades.