Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Truth: I feel like a failure. A lot.
My kids need more time. My husband needs more time. All of them need me to be nicer. My house...oh, my house...my poor filthy house. It needs love. Some serious love.
Christmas is supposed to be a time of peace & love & goodwill & all that jazz. For me, Christmas the last couple years has been like a giant magnifying glass for all my failures. A neon billboard screaming: You're the worst!
I have finals at Christmas time. So when I should be making treats and decorating and snuggling with my kids watching Elf and Home Alone, I am studying. And when I am not studying, I am so exhausted that instead of doing all of the things I should be doing I am laying prostrate in bed, useless and depleted, binge-watching The Office.
Not only do I not have the time or energy that my family needs from me, I can't even make it up to them by spoiling them with gifts. Because I also have no money. Which is no fun the rest of the year. But is even less fun come Christmas time.
And I know. It's not about money. My kids have everything they need. (Except cell phones, which they're not getting. Even if they are the last kids on earth without them. Which they are totally convinced they are.) But I'm obviously not making them anything. Or spending any time with them. Or taking them anywhere. So it would be nice to be able to buy them something.
And we have always loved being able to do Angel Tree gifts. My kids surprise me every year with their thoughtfulness & generosity in choosing gifts for others their age. (Yes, I said surprise. I love them, but they're not always the nicest.) But we just can't do it this year. Which makes me feel sad. And failure-ish.
These were the feelings rolling around in my head this past Sunday afternoon. Like marsh-wallows in my thought chocolate. As neighbor after neighbor delivered kind & thoughtful gifts. Which is one more thing we've had to forgo this year. (Because I still haven't come up with a clever enough rhyme to make packages of ramen a suitable gift. Common? Lawmen? Bombin'??)
And then at about 10 o'clock at night there was a pounding at the door. Like some seriously scary knocking. I thought for sure it was the police or some crazy serial killer (who murders people but is polite enough to knock first.)
So I made my husband answer it, because if it is a homicidal maniac...well, age before beauty, right? Only it isn't the police. And it isn't a well-mannered home invader. It is bag after box after bag of gifts for my children and food and other household items.
And I'm not going to lie and say that it is easy to be that family. The one who needs. Because it is not. Holy crap it's hard. Really really hard. And I thought we were doing okay keeping it on the down low. I just kept asking over and over again, Who knows we needed this? Who knew how broke we are? (After which my 5-year old started exclaiming, Who knew we needed a box of oranges??) And my first thought was to be crazy embarassed. And to think of the many people who need it more than we do.
But the looks on my kids faces as they looked through bags for gifts with their names? (Which probably was similar to the look on mine when I saw that case of toilet paper. Case. I wanted to spread it all out and just lay in it.)
It was priceless. And it was enough to make me swallow my pride and just be super duper grateful.
Extremely. Magnificently. Grateful. From the bottom of my bursting, happy heart.
And it has brought a little joy. A little peace. A little hope back into my life this season.
They say that it is better to give than to receive. And that may very well be.
But receiving? It's not easy. But it's pretty freaking awesome, too.
Posted by Cyndie at 1:45 PM