We survived Christmas.
In truth, it was highly unlikely that I wouldn't make it through the day but it was a real fear for me nonetheless. After spending the better part of the last two months almost totally alone, being around family was a precarious combination of stressful and relaxing, alternating between the two quicker than you can say "turkey dinner". I won't deny that I spent the entire day waiting for the phone to ring, only to disappointed (and a little bit hurt) by a text message from J that said "Merry Christmas. How did F make out?"
Mom and Dad's living room looked like Toys-R-Us and Walmart's Christmas aisle threw up in it. There were toys, presents, Christmas stockings and ornaments every where. By the time all of the presents were opened (over an hour after the commencement), you could barely tell there was a floor beneath all the torn wrapping paper and empty toy boxes. F was so excited he was, possibly for the first time ever, at a loss for words. He walked around the living room talking to everyone and looking at everyone's gifts.
I was ready for bed by mid-afternoon, and exhausted by the time I'd finished my turkey dinner. F's joy was fading into a sour mood, and my patience was all but gone. When we settled into bed, F with his new toys and me with my new Kobo, it took about ten minutes for us both to conk out. I was more than a little happy to wake up today and to know that Christmas is over, at least for another year.
I laid in bed this morning thinking of all the presents I had found under the tree yesterday, how generous my family had been. I thought of how blessed I am to have the love and support of my parents, and how incredibly blessed I am to have a healthy, happy little boy to spend my days with. In the midst of his meltdown last night, I had lost my temper and reached the end of my rope and I regretted it this morning.
So many mothers were without their children yesterday. So many mothers would have given anything to have a meltdown take place in the middle of Christmas dinner or to have their child stick their tongue out at them and be saucy as she was getting his jacket on him.
The best gift of all was bouncing off the walls yesterday, not wrapped neatly under the tree.