So here's the thing. It's almost Christmas. Probably, you know this already.
And when it's almost Christmas, there is suddenly a flurry of activity that requires buying things and supporting things and donating things and planning things and baking things and taking the kids to things. I remember this from when I was a kiddo. The stifling hot holiday pageants at school where inevitably I wore velvet on an 80 degree night and some kid in front of me on the risers in the cafeteria puked his guts out just as were started singing Silent Night.
I remember the class holiday parties, eating the homemade cookies with red and green sprinkles, and the one kid inevitably puking up his cookies all over the floor on the the way to the bus.
And, despite the puking and sweating and rushing around, these things were fun. They created that holiday spirit in me as a child. Thanksgiving = put up the tree = count presents = sit on Santa's lap = sing songs at school = eat cupcakes at school = out of school = SANTA COMES OMG TEH AWESOME.
Christmas was fantastic when I was a kid. Sparkly and sweet and glorious and wonderful.
I'm sure it was hectic and debt-inducing and insane for my parents, because that is what it's becoming for me. Only, now we have the added pressure of keeping the family well and getting everyone to Cincinnati in one piece and then back home again in time to celebrate Christmas in our own living room.
The focus on health and buying fleece and talking to Medicaid and Cincy nurses on the phone equals me falling behind on proper Christmas stress. I signed up to donate items and/or money to needy families. Have yet to do it. I have emails from class parents asking for money so they can buy giftcards for teachers. I don't have exra money to give. There are two school winter festivals coming up – one today and one Monday, and I don't think we can go to either one. Maybe the one tonight, if the wee one is up to it, but he's still a bit puny after his bout with the flu and I am trying to keep everyone under lockdown so we don't get re-sick just hours before the trip.
The only reason the kids have any presents is because I can buy things online, thank goodness, and because we needed a lot of stuff for the trip that I can wrap and they can unwrap early. I feel like family Christmas-wise, we're good. We will have a small, lovely Christmas and the kids will be happy.
But Christmas Season Expectation-wise, I have created a swirling charybdis of fail. I feel incredibly guilty that the kids will miss their holiday parties and festivals. I feel incredibly guilty that I can't buy a hundred dollars worth of giftcards and give them to all our teachers and caregivers. I feel incredibly guilty that the baking I'm going to do is for snacks to take in the car on our trip, and not for pot lucks or for families that need it more than we do.
Is this part of Christmas As A Grown-Up? The guilt?
What can I do to not seem like a busy, selfish person? Promise I'll do better one day? That doesn't seem very effective.
I will just have to throw my love to the world with energy and force of will. Just a fierce I AM HERE, I KNOW I SHOULD DO BETTER shout into the wind. That is going to have to do.
In the meantime, I worry about Ike's fiberoptic endoscopic swallow study and the bronchoscopy, both coming up next week if he can stay well. I worry about the wee one and his sudden onset on constant illness (stress? being in a portable? genetics? [I was constantly sick in the 3rd grade, too]). I worry that the wee-er one will be permanently scarred because her mommy keeps her home from parties at school (because we are leaving that day to begin our journey). I worry about the guilt I feel and feel guilty for all worry because things could be so much worse. They HAVE BEEN so much worse. They could become so much worse at any moment.
And so the Christmas guilt worry spiral is in full swing as I pack our bags.
I shout into the wind: I'M SORRY FOR FEELING GUILTY WHEN I HAVE SO MUCH, AND I'M SORRY FOR NOT GIVING BACK. I WILL DO BETTER.
I will do better.
Just please let us make it to Cincy in one piece, and please have Ike-a-saurus be healthy.