My kids aren’t perfect. This was made clear to me as they played tug-of-war with the oatmeal container tom-tom we made last week.
I’m not perfect. This was made clear to me when I yelled, “I will TAKE that tom-tom and THROW it out the WINDOW!”
We all have our faults. We’ve all made mistakes throughout the years. I make mistakes every single day of my life!
“Stop that tapping!” I yelled. My afternoon reverie, interrupted by a mind-numbing repetitive noise, was not to be. “Do not even THINK about tying your sister up and hitting her with that tomahawk!”
My girls, wearing paper feather headdresses while they sculpted a settlers’ colony out of Play-doh, were totally wired up. They are excited about the days we’ll be spending with friends, the food, the presents, the parties, the general “festiveness” of it all. They have been constantly chattering, singing loudly, squealing shrilly, jumping up and down excitedly and getting glitter everywhere.
I won’t lie. They have also been completely getting on my nerves. I’ve been
thinking about asking for a good set of earplugs this Christmas.
There is so much that needs to be done – my to-do list is literally three pages long. Naturally, my mind is on everything that needs to be purchased, wrapped, packed, baked, sorted, tagged, signed, sealed and delivered. I need quiet. I need to focus!
My children, however, don’t care about any of that. Their to-do list is very different from mine: see their friends and their families. Decorate some trees. Sing some songs. Build some snowmen. Read some stories. Look at some lights. Eat some cookies, stay up late, play some games and open some presents. In other words, relax and thoroughly enjoy themselves.
I’m somewhat jealous of their childish enthusiasm; to be perfectly honest, their list sounds like a lot more fun than mine does. As a matter of fact, mine sounds downright boring and joyless.
Am I missing the proverbial forest for the Christmas trees here? Maybe the singing, squealing and glittering isn’t so bad after all. Maybe they have it right and I need to just lighten up!
It seems that the real key to enjoying the holidays comes down to just this one thing: perspective. We need to accept each other for who we are. Warts and all. Things that drive me crazy (like squealing from excitement or singing Holly Jolly, Holly Jolly over and over) might just be the very things that are missing in my own life.
No, the ones I love aren’t perfect.
But loving them, even with all of their faults, is somehow perfect.
It’s amazing how love can do that: it can transform just about anything. Your family (and mine) might not be straight out of “It’s a Wonderful Life.” “It’s a Mediocre Life” or “It’s a Dysfunctional Life” might be more appropriate.
But maybe I should go into it this year like my children: with hope and excitement. With a song in my heart. With glitter!
I’m going to be prepared to count to ten. I’m going to breathe deeply, listen to a relaxation CD and try to maintain a non-Grinchy attitude. I may even go outside and find that tom-tom and give it back to them! I’m going to try to forgive the annoyances and maybe, just maybe, let some things slide this year. Who knows? Maybe I’m the annoying one. Maybe my kids are letting things slide because they love me.
I can at least return the favor.