WELL. Here we are. December 28th. Christmas day, the day I was anticipating with tight-throated, white-knuckled, acid-refluxy, lip-bitten apprehension has come and gone and I am absolutely at peace with it.
That's saying a lot. A LOT, my friends.
This day, all things considered, was really good. I worked, my job had a kick-ass Christmas soiree for all the employees' kids---the whole bottom floor of the building was converted into a sports complex, complete with employees dressed as referees, basketball hoops, and a giant, yoga ball-sized soccer ball that the kids could push/roll into giant goal posts. Awesome!!! And there was this dude who totally humiliated me, wearing a ref costume and hobbling around on stilts (stilts make me really uncomfortable, like you could just fall on top of me at any second and break every bone in my body and yours; nobody's legs should ever be that long. it's like you're a giant human insect), and the guy was holding a baseball on a rubber string. So he threw it right at my face and said,
"Here Mom, CATCH!!!"
Of course I immediately did what I always do whenever I sense danger, which is to curl up into the fetal position and throw my arms around my head to protect myself.
The ball flew out and back into the guys hand, and everyone around me laughed, especially Shawn, who knows that if I am ever to be attacked alone at night I don't stand a chance because I seem to be devoid of the fight or flight instinct completely. When danger abounds, my first instinct is not to run or attack, but to flail my arms and cover my face and stand on frozen legs, screaming like a banshee. It was really funny. Not to me.
So when I got home Lily, Shawn and I ate a nice stir fry dinner and each said a little extra grace before we ate. Lily said her usual "Thank you for the food on the table and for the love in our hearts, and thank you for Jesus", and Shawn and I said out loud, mostly for each other's benefit, that we were grateful to be able to celebrate Christmas together as a family (not said: despite the fact that we are separated and sometimes want to rip out each others throats with our bare teeth and spit the bloody gore back out at each others faces).
Lily left out two homemade cookies and I set up a pot of coffee for the next morning (YES, I love the automatic timer), and she dicated a note for us to leave for Santa:
Here are some cookies.
There is a pot of coffee
for you if you want.
You can have a cup if you want.
Be careful tonight.
Bedtime was the only dark spot on an otherwise satiny smooth evening, because Lil was so jacked up on Christmas that she would not go to sleep. Also, she refused to let Shawn read her The Night Before Christmas, which hurt his feelings, because he said his mom always read that to him on Christmas Eve. He offered to sit in the rocker with Lil and read it to her, in the hope of continuing a sweet family tradition, but she wasn't havin it: "I! DON'T! LIKE! THAT! STORY!!!!"
So we read a couple of other lame non-Christmas books, Shawn tried to hide his disappointment, and finally Lily fell asleep, clutching my hand and muttering about the Dora sippy cup that Santa was going to bring tomorrow.
As soon as she was out, we dragged our tired asses into the living room and went into a wrapping frenzy, and were too wiped even to have a glass of wine before Shawn went home. I made a couple of phone calls, laid out on the couch, and stared at the tree, kind of losing myself in the lights, listening to the quiet, feeling a sense of accomplishment and serenity and utter exhaustion.
To Be Continued...