I don't want to leave the holiday season on a sour note. Although what I wrote yesterday was certainly a true snapshot of life around here, it's not the only picture. There are plenty of kairos moments and on the whole today was good. I found myself doing less chores and more reading. More importantly, the I played alongside both my boys. Liam and I built freeform with Legos then Henry and I tried our hand at his Zoob Challenge kit. I was not terribly successful at any of the structures but that's not the point. All three members of this family sat together quietly and concentrated on something other than a screen. It doesn't get better than that.
Henry had a long-awaited play date in the afternoon. The anticipation of that helped alleviate the slight case of cabin fever we've been feeling. Once he met up with his friend, he was the happy, carefree boy I love to watch. I'm grateful he has made a good friend at his tiny school.
Tomorrow is New Year's Eve. We'll be celebrating with balloons and a few fun activities. On slips of paper, I've printed suggestions like "have a snack", "watch a movie", "take a bubble bath". I put the slips into balloons that the boys will pop one at a time early in the evening. The activities each have a dollar store component--but no noisemakers. (I have five and seven year old boys, no artificial noise is necessary around here.) We'll light up the night with glow sticks and our own version of Hide the Bows in which we choose one dark room, hide twenty Christmas ribbons and search for them using only our headlamps. (Milton Bradley, look out!)
I began preparing the NYE materials late one night and wouldn't you know, both boys came downstairs and spoiled the surprise. No matter, now they are even more excited having seen some of the "prizes". They keep asking me what day it is and how long until our BIG party.
It's much easier to parent when I concentrate on the here and now instead of the pain of the past. Unfortunately, during Christmas the memories are overwhelming and tend to block out almost everything else. The boys sense my tension, become anxious and their behavior suffers. The key is to remember this pattern, be aware during the next big holiday and not repeat this year's experiences. So with that lesson (hopefully) learned, things are easing up a bit day by day. Just in time for a brand new year.
I wish you and yours the very best start to 2015