Without sugar coating it, I’m having a hard time finding my holly jolly spirit. I feel like I’ve fallen into the classic trap of having high hopes for something I know will be fun (like, um, the holidays) but reality isn’t playing out that way. For context, I’m coming off a tough month. In November, my husband and I both lost our beloved grandmothers within weeks of each other. From there we ran smack into Thanksgiving followed by an (unrelated) Covid-quarantine. Our 3 year-old is hitting her “threenager” stride and the tantrums are an almost daily occurrence. She’s also decided to narrow down her allowable foods to 1-3 items – max. Oh, and did I mention I’m 8 months pregnant?
Yeah. It’s been a little hard and I’m more than a little tired. But here I am, trying desperately to get into the holiday spirit. Case in point: last weekend I took my daughter to see the Nutcracker. She started a ballet class this Fall and I thought she would enjoy seeing dancers in a live performance. We spent the last few weeks reading the Nutcracker at bedtime and talking about what to expect at the theater. We were going with a friend and her daughter and I was so excited for our day together.
Cut to the morning of the show and the meltdowns came in fast and furious: the pancakes I made looked “funny”, I brushed her hair before she was ready, I asked her to wear underwear and (tragically) we served pizza for lunch and our car was the wrong color. Everyone in our house had cried by noon. I knew the show would be a disaster and quickly slashed my expectations to zero. There was just no way she would rebound into the Sugarplum fantasy I had in mind.
Well, Santa’s elves must have been paying attention because – miraculously – I got my Christmas wish. My daughter LOVED the Nutcracker. She sat (mostly) entranced for 2 hours, even mimicking the ballerinas’ moves in her seat. No shouting, no pouting, no crying. It went so well that I allowed myself to fantasize about this becoming our holiday tradition, something special we could do together every year.
So as we approach the end of this year, and all the magical exhaustion that comes with it, I wish you all health and happiness but above all, patience and kindness. Try to take it easy and don’t let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy. 💛
We wish you all the happiness this season can bring, and may it follow you throughout the coming new year. We’ll be back in Janaury!
~ The MLN Crew