But there was lots of good too. Snuggles and kisses and pretty dresses. No one fought and ran upstairs crying. The Dog and I moved the couch and TV into the half-done basement and decided that sweaters and a space heater were a fair trade off for having more space and no money. (I'm still holding out for a Snuggie and some duvet slippers from Restoration Hardware though...)
There was time with the people I love the most in the world. Cousins and aunts and uncles. There was a stay-over visit from Uncle C and nights of Lego Rock Band (a karaoke machine in disguise). There was the day we took out my former neighbour from the halfway house across the street for breakfast, filled his fridge with food and then cried as we listened to his grateful message later that day.
There was a date to see Sherlock Holmes and lots of kissing and bum-pinching and appreciating and I love yous. There were home-cooked meals lovingly prepared by yours truly, who can be a fantastic cook when she isn't rushed at the end of her work day. There was a rare girls' day with my mom, sis and 80-year-old aunt to see Nine (perhaps the first and last outing for these two pairs of sisters).
There was my son discovering the joys of Yellow Submarine on vinyl and announcing that "Hey Bulldog" is his new favourite song, while Loogoo jumped up and down screaming "My SONG!" every time "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" came on. And short of a two-year-old with a fever and a cough, there was good health and bright, shiny faces.
We are blessed. We have no idea, each day, just how good we have it. I am grateful for this life. I am working hard to have it. And I'm learning to love it all. Even the peeling paint and plaster. Even the nights where I have to sleep next to little people who have trouble breathing. Even when I cry because new family dynamics dredge up ghosts from the past I thought I'd dealt with.
My homey, Dr. Zee, told me this mantra a while back. When I first heard it, I thought that she was quacked, but now I'm using it and I think I get it. "This is shitty. It must be good." Think on that peeps. I think I was almost there when I discovered my corn diamonds analogy.
Here are three photos that exemplify the past three Christmasses. Enjoy!
Christmas 2007: New baby + whiny toddler = GAH!