Monday, December 28, 2009
It Is What It Is...
If you read my previous post, you'll recall the star I picked up at the Walgreen's for our tree....and that my family laughed at it and said it was lame. Sigh. It lasted for a week or two on the top branch, all bent over against the ceiling. I liked it. It said, "This house ain't perfect. Get over it!". Amidst an evening of shopping prior to Christmas, Peter spotted a very pretty star made of sticks and red berries that he really liked. So we bought it and there it sits. It is very homey. Homie? I'm not calling you "homey", I'm......never mind. You get the idea.
The photo of the lame star made me think, once again, of expectations. Is this the season of expectations or WHAT? Sheesh. Now, I think I've made some big strides in trying to let go of unrealistic expectations of things/people/myself. But I'm not completely cured. Especially at Christmas time. I can so easily dwell on the "shoulds" or "coulds" of everything from family to traditions to baking and decorating. I will once again quote my friend Susanna and remind myself and anyone else listening that "IT IS WHAT IT IS". Can I say once again how I love that phrase? It has prevented me on countless occasions from jumping on the death spiral of unrealistic expectations. This Christmas, I teetered on the edge of the spiral a only a couple of times, but my favorite phrase (and my emotionally steady husband) yanked me back to reality. I'm glad, too, because we really had a pretty relaxed Christmas. I was going to make something for breakfast on Christmas morning that was really high-maintenance, but I realized I was pooped and didn't feel like it. So we had toast. Toast! I think a couple of the kids may have just eaten crackers. I had in my mind for a moment that homemade cinnamon rolls could be such a fun Christmas morning tradition! But I let it go and we had toast! (Call me crazy, but I'm seeing light from heaven and I hear angels singing!) I figured the tradition wasn't so great if mom was tired and nasty on Christmas morning because she got up so early to make the rolls so breakfast could be "special". Good grief! The kids could have cared less about rolls or toast or anything else to eat for that matter. For obvious Christmas morning reasons. So this year I feel like I had a pretty good handle on the Christmas expectations, save for the few teetering moments. I was also very proud of my mother, who later that day during the opening of gifts, handed me a plain box with a bow stuck on top and said "I got sick of wrapping". Go, mom!
Okay, now I must admit that my intent tonight when I sat down at the computer was to vent about how one of my kids crossed the line one too many times today between "cute" and "sassy". This is a recurring issue with said child, and I was ticked. (Whoever said not to take your kids' behavior personally? Wha??) I think we are at the brink of a new phase of parenting that I feel frighteningly unprepared for. Anyway, at the time of the crossing of the line I'm thinking that "this shouldn't happen". The child "should know better", "should not be disrespectful", and that "I should command more respect", etc. etc. etc.
But in the process of writing this painfully long post (sorry), I realize once again that it is what it is. I say that not to shrug off the incident and the responsibility to correct it. I say it to remind myself not to jump on the spiral of unrealistic expectations and think that it's all indicative of horrid parenting and children who will wind up as social deviants. (I really am that wierd...and i know I'm not the only one out there. *awkward silence* :) So thanks so much putting up with the external processing. I know I need to deal with the attitude issue, and I need to deal with my reactions to it (which are not always the most mature...). So there's a sink full of dishes that will be there in the morning for said child who needs to appreciate mom a little more. Not because I'm still mad, but because it is what it is. And I'll probably end up helping, and if we're lucky, we'll even have a good time in the process. We'll see.....