December 29, 2011

Love and the art of being late

My kids tease me mercilessly for my utter lack of timeliness. I am late for everything. Which is a problem if you're a kid going to basketball practice. Or to chorus. Or, well, anywhere.

When you add that little personality quirk to a major holiday like, oh, say, Christmas, with its very many opportunities to be late, it becomes a nightmare of 2 a.m. cookie baking, crazy Christmas Eve day shopping sprints, and overnight wrapping marathons. It's expensive and exhausting.

And it didn't happen this year.

I don't know if it was the impetus of my latest new au pair heading home mid-month, and taking all my childcare with her, or if it was my sister very nearly begging off Christmas because of the never-ending holiday chaos at my house. But something snapped. And suddenly I was on time.

I finished my shopping a full 10 days before Christmas. And snagged some pretty awesome sales, too.

I had the cookies mixed and baked for my diva's holiday party three days early.

And the wrapping was done on the eve of Christmas Eve. Still an overnight marathon, but it meant I slept - mostly - on Christmas Eve proper. Which made for a much more friendly mom when the kids woke me up before dawn on Christmas Day.

I was still late for a handful of Christmasy things, some of them important. Like Peabo's school holiday party. Though I can legitimately blame that on the onlay that broke the day before (mind you, I was on time to the dentist). Of my three, Peabo is - not surprisingly - the one with the least ability to manage the whole "late mom" thing. He always knows what time it is and is constantly adjusting our clocks. Schedules matter to him. They matter a lot. So does being on time.

But, as I told him between gentle apologies, love means taking someone as they come, faults and all. Even if that someone never really knows what time it is.

Love. Forgiveness. Understanding. Isn't that what Christmas is all about?

Though being on time does help.

Whaddya know? Post number 37! Only 20 more to go before the end of the year ...

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