I had this picture in my head of how this Christmas was going to go. It was the first time in my ten years of marriage that my parents and my sister would be with us on Christmas Day! We would all wake up early with the kiddos (ages 5, 3, and 1), and sit around with our cameras and our hot coffee, watching the picture-perfect wrapping-ripping and squeals of delight.
Unfortunately, real life happened.
And by “real life,” I mean whatever 24-hour stomach bug seemed to strike everyone on my Facebook feed right around Christmastime. It made its way through almost all of us, skipping only my two smallest blessings. (Even my parents and sister, in from Texas for less than a week, were struck down!) Silver lining: it generally hit us only one at a time.
I feel like we all expect to have this Norman Rockwell-ian Christmas, and that’s okay. But it shouldn’t ruin the entire year when something like this happens.
Let’s be honest: I was crushed. My long-anticipated, idyllic Christmas fell woefully short of my expectations. It only comes once a year, and as a mom you spend so much time making sure it’s going to be magical for your kiddos, so it follows that it should be magical for you too, right?
This is real life. Life with a family. Life with a family that includes children who attend the Petri-dish that is an educational institution of any kind, then bring home all sorts of germs. We focus so much on sharing, but I guess we should be more specific.
In hindsight, my children did find Christmas magical. Santa came, wishes were granted, toys were unwrapped, and a good time was had by (almost) all. When I was in the trenches of this year’s holiday, it was miserable. But in the end, how do my children remember it? When a stranger asks, “How was your Christmas?,” my children’s eyes still light up. Even Samantha, who was sick on Christmas, doesn’t remember it as a bad day.
I think this is a good lesson to take away from any highly anticipated date. It seems so magical until you live it, and then it’s really just another day, especially if you’re a mom. There are still dishes and laundry and a halo of cracker crumbs around the base of the high chair. But we can work behind the scenes to control all of the madness, especially if it means our babies remember Christmas fondly.
Comment below: Was your Christmas magical, or did you get a nice sampler of all the holiday ailments?