Pleasure is directly correlated to expectation. In truth, I expect very little. I've had a lot of adversity in my life and have learned to never, never, never rely on things to be given or returned or earned easily. Life's a struggle, right? Usually, I accept that. However, even with my cynical nature and full acceptance that most people are total a*holes, and that the worst that can happen will happen, I have found this year, this winter, to be so disappointing. And it's only January 14th. Despite the glorious sunrises we've had these last few days, I look around at a hazy shade of winter.
This winter was so promising. I had a sleepover for Mason's 6th birthday at our local Hampton Inn. She invited 2 friends to come along for swimming, celebration and sleeping. I had hoped it would be the best night of Mason's life since she has no memory of staying in a hotel before and was so excited about it. It did not turn out to be all I hoped it would be. One girl chewed a hole in her flotation ring which required all of us to get out of the pool, another fell out of bed which was incredibly frightening, and the room was a bit too small for 3 girls to play in. An event like this really requires a suite with room to move around. You may think these glitches are not a big deal, but trust me, to 4-6 year old girls, these things are upsetting.
But with the disappointment, there was also a lot of fun. The girls made crafts, sang along with a karaoke machine one of her guests gave her, ate lots of junk food, told jokes, jumped from one bed to the other (a million times) and laughed. Little girl laughter is pretty special. In case you are wondering, I also learned that little girls are just as gross as little boys. There was a lot of gas passing and talk about gas passing and giggling about gas passing. The difference is girls outgrow this and boys NEVER do.
Then Christmas came. My kids had a wonderful Christmas. It was the first Christmas morning that the boys, now 3 years old, really participated in opening presents. There was so much laughter. My dad spent Christmas morning with us for the first time since 1999. That year was sad. My mom had leukemia and wasn't doing well. The hospital allowed her to come home for a couple days. I still have pictures from that day, but can't bare to look at them. She looked so sick and my sister was so healthy. It's heartbreaking now to remember them both that way. A piece of me still lives in Christmas 1999 and the memory haunts me a bit.
Back to 2013....The kids slept in Christmas morning. We crawled out of bed around 9am. It was great. The wrapping paper frenzy began shortly after. Followed by brunch. And then everyone left. My dad returned to his town. My mother went to visit my sister in rehab. John left for work. The kids enjoyed playing with their new toys but asked (about a million times) why they weren't going to their paternal grandparents that day. The technical answer (the one that gets me off the hook): our car had broken down and John had the van. I physically couldn't get the kids to their home. The real answer: I'd rather eat glass than spend one minute with my mother in law. I spent 14 Christmases with those horrible people. It wasn't happening this year. Not after the hell the mother in law put me through. I just didn't have it in me.
Christmas passed and we planned to celebrate New Year's Eve at the First Night celebration in our town. Music, food, children's programming, fireworks...what could go wrong?! It was the first year since who-knows-when that John did not have to work New Year's Eve. I was looking forward to hearing a piano and organ concert and taking the kids to a magic show. However, around 5:30pm, I became so ill I could barely move. I was in bed by 6pm. I listened to the fireworks from my bed and my very first New Year's kiss in years was on the top of my head. It's better than nothing, I suppose, but I had high expectations. Lesson learned.
Christmas break was extra long. A cold spell kept the kids home for a few extra days. I was very excited for them to go back. They needed a break from each other and I needed some time for myself. I can't get anything done when I spend my days stopping fights, finding crafts and other forms of entertainment, and kissing boo boos. Or that could be an excuse. It's January 14th and my Christmas tree is still up. Apparently, I don't get much done when they're back at school either. (Although, I didn't put the tree up OR decorate it this year so maybe it's not my problem. Get on it, John.)
Fast forward to January 11th. I got sick again. Another stomach virus. This one hit me hard, made me weak, and left me begging for Spring. AND the icing on my sour, rotten cake: someone I thought would never upset me is breaking my heart.
So here I am, January 14, 2014 and I can't wait for winter to get the hell over with. High expectations. That's what I had. Next winter, I will expect nothing but doom and gloom and feel quite pleased when it's over. (As it turns out, this post is a 1011 word pity party.)
Here's some pics to make up for that.
|On our way to Wildlights!|
|The best pic I could get of the 4 of them at the Columbus Zoo. I don't know how photographers do it!|
|John and Drea. She's so easy to have around.|
|At the hotel sleepover. The 3 cutest girls I know.|
|Christmas morning: Ringo got trapped in all the new toys and clothes.|
|I bought all 3 kids, even the boys, princess shoes for Christmas. They love them. This is also the ONLY picture I got with all 3 of them. How sad.|
|If you leave the kids alone with Grandma, you will end up with slime on the ceiling. Does anyone know how to get slime off paint?|