Life is certainly crazy around here these days! I've been working more than full time (including late hours) and that leaves very little time in the day for writing. I really can't complain, though. Just having a job is a blessing these days! That doesn't mean I don't WANT to complain sometimes, of course. But, keeping gratitude in mind helps guide my thoughts down more positive avenues.
The past few weeks have shown me that no matter how tough things get, I have an awesome family and that makes everything worthwhile. When frustration at work gets the best of me, I know that I can come home and my family will be there to love me, hug me, let me vent if I need to, and rest when I have to.All in all, I have way more things to brag about than complain about.
I have a loving husband, a houseful of kids, food in my pantry, and Christmas presents ready to put under the tree. Growing up, we never put gifts under the tree until Christmas Eve, but my kids have made their own tradition. As soon as the tree goes up (and sometimes even before) there will be little packages in the living room, waiting for the next few weeks to go by. These precious little parcels are the gifts that my kids have chosen to give each other. This is what makes ME love this time of year so very much. It is such a beautiful thing to take the kids to shop for each other. We help them make a list of people they want to buy gifts for, give them a small budget, and let them make the choice of what to give to whom. Seeing how carefully they choose these gifts and how excited they are when they find the "perfect" thing to give each other shows me that in spite of their tiffs and arguments, these kids really DO love each other. What's more? They LIKE each other. Between here and Christmas morning the kids will have fun taunting each other, "you'll NEVER guess what I got YOU!"
By then there will be so many presents under the tree that they will be spread out halfway across the room. Some are store bought gifts and others are hand made trinkets along with handwritten cards and even re-gifted items, all carefully wrapped and labeled from one kid to another. I know that everyone will have a gift from everyone else. No one gets skipped, shorted, or forgotten. That's just the way my kids are.
I can't ask for anything more than that.
All this would be enough to make any Momma proud, but last week I got an extra piece of news that made me even more so. I got an e-mail from EG's teachers that said something to the effect of this:
"Today we saw your daughter on the playground helping out a younger boy from another class. He was sitting down by himself because he wasn't getting along with one of the other kids and before we teachers could even react, your daughter was by his side, patting him on the back and talking nicely to him until he felt better and ran off to play again."
I can't even describe how good it feels to hear that your own kid does something like that, without prompting, unaware she is being watched, without thought of a reward. This is something EVERY parent should hope to hear. It means that we have taught her the right way and that she is confident enough to act that way in front of her peers.
She doesn't know this, but Santa was watching, too.