So, as the season of giving approaches and moms and dads alike are across the world losing sleep over the endless ways to give their children the best Christmas in every way and shape possible, might I shed light on a little shameful lesson I have learned over the years…
Christmas means this magical time where we get to witness our children look around with the joy and mystery at all the wonders of the season, and as parents we see this holiday as something other than just giving ( or maybe that’s the booze kicking in )… We start imagining their faces Christmas morning when they open that $96 Egg with the creepiest gremlin inside and we remember the blood soaked spot on the bottom from us ripping it from the grips of another human being Black Friday morning (and slowly we smile a little inside). Then we look over to find our sons tearing open a brand new Xbox One and our back pockets of our pajamas tingle a little as we remember American Express calling to confirm that was indeed us dropping $400 at the Best Buy in Arkansas because Ohio and the 10 surrounding states were out…(we sip our coffee with pure delight) … and of course what Christmas morning was complete without the 13 Ft. Live Action To Scale Electric Crane set and you wink at your husband and kiss his arthritically swollen hand from welding together 4,023 pieces of the crane before then proceeding to play with it ALL night picking everything up from his Busch light to the cat with it…. You sit there neck deep in wrapping paper and wallow in all your glory… and then, when the tearing and the screams have ended, and you feel like the Shiz Niz of Christmas, giving yourself a little wink in the mirror, you refill your coffee and then turn to hear what I can only describe as The Nightmare AFTER Christmas. All of the sudden your 3, 5 and 7 year old have instantly forgotten the small lottery they just unraveled in their living room and are sobbing because “Santa forgot the (Batman <–was NOT on the list) Robot and only brought him a ‘Regular Robot'” and “Didn’t Santa understand my drawing… it was a Barbie MALIBU dream house, not a Barbie LA Dream House” and “I’m only crying because those two are crying and we are out of D batteries for my Craneeeeee…..”
So like 85% of this story actually happened ( just ask my chiropractor, the kids still talk about it 🙂
At first, when the Nightmare AFTER Christmas happened, I immediately was overwhelmed with instant anger. Anger that stemmed from feeling unappreciated and then blaming them for being ‘spoiled’… I was livid… I cried and my kids had no idea why… because they thought Santa was the one to blame here… but I was just plain mad. I couldn’t fathom the thought that I have given my kids everything they asked for ( BATMAN WAS NOT SPECIFIED ON THE ROBOT PORTION OF THE LIST <– not bitter at all ) and I spent A TON of money on their Christmas and this is what I get? I give give give every damn day of the year and THIS…. because the Dreamhouse had a shopping center instead of an inground Pool and the Crane ran out of the ‘Try ME’ batteries the night before? This is the ‘thanks’ I get? I’m not kidding I was super childish about this for almost a year…. still a LONG time after they had moved on and since came to be obsessed with their actual toys (even though the robot had a spacecraft and not a bat mobile ). Now, I can tell you from almost a decades experience of child rearing (that still just does not sound right) that it took me more than half of those years to grow up into a real parent and show off my hard hardened (in a good way needed for life lesson teaching) heart. After a long process of improving myself ( details i will not bore you with) I have learned from my selfish mistakes of that very emotionally explicit Christmas Morning…
I learned that no matter what those kids would have opened, an Xbox one or a set of Play Dough… No matter how tall that crane would have been or had it been there at all… THEY ARE CHILDREN … THIS IS WHAT THEY DO. and its actually a really good thing.. ( I think at least, I’m no PhD in kids) but I can tell you that disappointment has taught my kids patience, humility, respect and hope….
Patience for Santa’s ‘misunderstanding a list’… humility because the LA house ended up being WAYYYY better than the MALIBU one so it was actually okay…Respect because after I tamed the lion inside me I casually taught my children that morning that some kids don’t get anything for Christmas and that they need to respect the gifts they receive and that even if not one present was under that tree that morning they would still have the gift of their life, a loving family, and a happy home…. and Hope in the belief that “there’s always next year”… But surprisingly enough, I learned these this too…
Patience in that I have to be patient with my babies because they are learning how to become people, they are learning how to show and control emotion, they are feeding off of me and I need to be better at setting a good inner voice for them for years to come..
Humility because over the years of parenting ‘ If you don’t just laugh mamma, you’ll cry’ 🙂
Respect by respecting my kids’ right to be upset that although things turned out okay they weren’t exactly the way they had expected (a thing I pity party myself over every chance i get) and also respect for myself because I’m a DAMN good Mom and even though my kids are upset I offered them the best Christmas I could, condolences when things were rough, and a good outlook on the future..and that’s not always easy when all you wanna do is scream and call them ‘brats’ for ‘not liking what they got’ .
and Hope… hope that if I continue to raise my kids to be good humans, and if I can inspire and touch other parents to do the same and to stop, pause, and realize this is all a learning and growing experience that child and parent need to do together instead of always being negative and feeling like were never enough, hope that one day this generation of kids will change the world by passing on patience, humility, respect and hope… a couple of the things the world could use right now 🙂
SO mamas, go move your Elf (your welcome) , go sip your coffee and Amazon…. and remember, you sacrifice ALLL YEAR LONG so in this season of giving… give yourself the gift of laughter, patience and just remember their kids…no matter how spoiled or not….they are learning too… ❤