I've hit that harried spot of December, the one where my head never stops spinning and I am constantly counting gifts and making lists in my mind. Oh and calculating how much money I have left to survive until next paycheck. Oh and thinking about what to cook to take where. Oh and then there's laundry and housework to stay on top of. My stream of thoughts is always followed with, "Why does it have to be this way? I don't think this is what Christmas is about..."
This world is so strange, isn't it? We've taken the birth of Jesus and turned it into turkey and dressing and Santa and presents. And though I don't want to fall into it, I already have. And though I promise myself I won't let myself get stressed out this year, I already am. And so I will try to take a deep breath and stay calm.
Did you feel that way? Cause I don't know if you did or not. You never seemed to feel that way. So if you did, I was never aware. But then again, maybe my kids aren't aware of the constant tornado of thoughts spinning in my head. I hope they aren't. I hope I don't appear to be as stressed on the outside as I am on the inside. I do hope.
We are doing our Christmas tomorrow at your house. I made divinity yesterday, and I will make the cake today. I texted dad and told him that if he ever doubted your love for him, he should know that if you made divinity for him every year, you loved him more than can be expressed in words. It's a challenge. And I think I will be cleaning splatters of white off everything in my kitchen for months to come. Of course, I got it everywhere! And this time, I think I cooked the syrup too long during that last part, but it still tastes good. It's definitely not for the faint at heart in the kitchen, but once it's done, the feeling of accomplishment is overwhelming.
We are doing a traditional dinner tomorrow, and I am so glad. I'm doing the dressing and some veggies, and dad got a ham and turkey breast. I like going back to a traditional Christmas. It will be weird cooking in your kitchen without you being there, but I think we will enjoy the meal so much better than takeout from somewhere. There's love in cooking, you know. That's something that I learned early in life from Grandma Norris. She loved it so much, and now I understand why. To sit back and watch people filling their plates and bellies with food you've prepared is so heartwarming and gratifying. To be able to do it is an honor.
On Sunday, we go to be with Scott's family, so this weekend is busy, busy. And maybe that's why my head is spinning at warp speed. I've never had two back to back Christmases, so hopefully once I get through this weekend, my mind will simmer down a bit. I think it will. I hope. One day next week, I've got to get all the kids' stuff out a have a look. I don't feel like I have much of anything for them, but yet I've spent plenty of money. Nothing is cheap these days. I think Madalyn is on to us about the whole Santa thing. She lost the magic sprinkles to her little elves, and she hasn't even freaked out about it. And I think it's because she's figured it all out... if Mama and Daddy are behind the whole Santa thing, then they must be the magic behind the elves, too. In a way, it's a relief. But in a way, it's sad. It's a feeling that we will never have back. The magic. The excitement. The innocence. But they are growing up, oh so quickly growing up, which has its perks, too. Somedays, I wish I could freeze time with them.
Tomorrow just won't be the same without you. I am starting to realize that it will take several years for anything to feel normal. It feels weird to think that one day it will feel normal for you to not be here. So we are just kinda stuck here in the middle, in between what used to be and what will be in the future. We are stuck here in the I'm trying to accept this phase. And it's hard and emotional and exhausting. But it's reality. I hope we can all make the best of it. No matter what, we will never have this year back. And who knows what tomorrow holds in store for us. I'm trying, Mama. I'm trying to enjoy each day even without you. Some days are easier than others. But we will make it through somehow. We will make it through.