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 ...

21 posts

The last two New Year's ... New Year'ses? New Years? Eh. The last two Eves (see, that works), I've put together a "done list" that talks about the things that got done in the year preceding. It's meant to provide a sense of accomplishment in the face of a daunting, multi-year, to-do list.

Each year my done list includes the number of blog posts I've published. And in case you haven't kept track along with me (and can't see the little archive that appears on the right side of this page), I published 57 posts each in 2009 and 2010. Some kind of weird record in consistency that I promise was not at all planned.

Not this year. This year, I published a scant 35 posts. Until this one goes up. Then it will be 36.

Which is 21 short. And entirely lame.

It's not that I wasn't doing other, deeply legitimate things. I was. Managing my kids, who've had a bit of a rough year. Managing yet another au pair transition, because our lovely, as yet tattoo-free German missed her family and decided to go home 7 months early. Managing work, and one of the biggest projects of my career. And managing my health and my house and my finances.

You know. Living.

I heard on the radio today - which I was listening to in the morning, so you can't really trust what I'm about to tell you - but I heard that if you want to keep your New Year's resolutions, you need to make just one. And you need to forgive yourself and start over if you break it. Which is kind of like how the whole diet/fitness/health thing works. So you'd think I'd be familiar.

And maybe this will be my resolution. To find my bloggy inspiration again. Because I miss the writing.

I miss it a lot.