LadyBug has had three Christmas seasons. She has been sick for all of them. On her first Christmas Eve, she was exposed to something that made half her face swell up into a puffy red ball. On her second Christmas, she threw up about a block from my in-laws’ house. This year, it was a month long fiesta of sniffles, sneezes, vomiting, diarrhea, fevers and other ickiness. Combined with some mysterious ailment on my end, work pressure for my husband and all of the logistical prep for the holiday itself, it wasn’t the most magical of Christmas seasons.
I’m going to admit it… the loss of magic was mostly on my end. The kids didn’t know that they were missing out on Edaville Railroad or Zoo Lights. The didn’t realize that I only put out a portion of the decorations or that we missed a couple of parties. They only saw the tree, and the lights. They experienced the Christmas music, the special time with family and, of course, the presents. It didn’t even seem to bother them that they were sick. That all fell on Big Guy and I.
As much as I love Christmas, this year was hard. It seemed as if every time we tried to celebrate, something stood in the way. In fact, LadyBug recovered from a stomach bug just in time for me to feel comfortable taking her out on Christmas Day. I woke up on Christmas morning feeling excited and listening for the sounds of happy kids. Instead, I heard the sounds of Bug throwing up. We took him out anyway, but I spent a good part of the the day feeling worried and guilty.
I guess the funny thing about Christmas magic is that it has a way of sneaking up on you. As I watched my kids delight in their presents despite not feeling their best, I had a glimmer of cheer. And as I greeted my family and sat down for a meal with them, I couldn’t help but feel happy. And by the time we sat down to play Rock Band together, I was having a blast.
I know… I’m ridiculously slow to learn this lesson, but this was another example of letting my kids set the bar. Sure, I had my vision of what Christmas should be. But they were just open to enjoying what it was. And once I was on board with them, I had a wonderful time, too. Let’s hope I can just embrace this for 2010!