“I feel overwhelmed.” I heard a mom say to another at school. “Don’t you feel overwhelmed?”
“Yes” said the other, “I feel overwhelmed.”
I didn’t speak because I didn’t feel overwhelmed. Not in the way they meant it. Not about buying presents or visiting relatives or packing a bag. I am enjoying all the ho-ho- hoing. It’s what’s getting me through right now.
2012 has been a bit of a rough year. Both of Mark’s restaurants closing, general recession crap-o-ola ( I think that’s what the Feds call it) But, our worry about making a living seemed to pale a week ago Friday whenI found out an old friend had died. My rough year didn’t seem so rough. I’m mourning my friend and feeling very guilty about having taken him off my worry list in ’11. I didn’t know the cancer had come back.
“But, it’s all loss to the body.” my friend Eleni said. She had arrived as if on a cue. She is an even older friend who lives abroad and whom I rarely see. My body sure felt those shingles from the stress, but so small in the face of what my friend dealt with.
Per usual my kids lift me out of the gutter again and again. Nothing as good as Christmas with little kids. The tree trimming. Though Rex keeps saying “I wanted a white flocked tree” Quite right, next year I we will flock it. Maybe a color even. Why not? It’s all artifice. Dress the tree up, dress us up.
I’m driving us to every holiday fun thing in town. A trip or two to Santa, Christmas puppet shows, kids get dressed up in their finest. Love it!
The first day I heard about my friend I could only lie down. But, the next day my motto was “who wants to bake sugar cookies?” I doubled down on Christmas fun. I don’t want my kids to see me blue. They get so excited. Chef Peel gives his two cents, “I think you are over mixing it” as Vivien bangs at it with a wooden spoon. Relax grasshopper, it’s about the process. The second night I upped the ante.
“Who wants to make sugar cookies with green sprinkles?” The heavens rain joy! I thought I had them covered when “Ava Maria” came on and I got a message from a friend about our friends passing. I ran to my office, lay down on the kiddie couch and cried. Vivien came after me, “What is it mommy?”
“I’m fine, everything is okay, I’m sad about my friend dying and I wanted to cry about it for a minute, but I’m okay. Can you please just give me one minute?” Sometimes crying is like going number 2. You need to do it alone. I got my minute and then broke out the food coloring.
Another night we went caroling with some neighbors. We all sounded terrible, but it was great fun. Of course I took over the crew when I felt we were aimless. “Okay, listen, it’s Jingle Bells, then Deck the Halls. No, nobody knows the words to Let it Snow. A 1-2-3, deck the halls…”
Next year, we are going to need to rehearse. And of course have a flocked tree.