Eeew. Eeew, eew, eew!! Today has sucked the big one, can we just say.
Again and again and again, it’s the days you don’t anticipate. ‘How could you not anticipate Christmas, you nimrods?!’, one might justifiably ask. I can only say I thought Christmas would pale in comparison to Anna’s birthday in such a way it would almost be a non-event. Not so, as it turns out. In so much mental prep for her birthday (subconsciously for months then intensely for a couple of weeks), there was no prep whatsoever for Christmas. Somehow all I thought about was getting through last night. Stupid!!!
I don’t think it was even 30 minutes before both Brad and I were cranky as hell this morning. Started out normal enough, but quickly became messy as my folks skyped my brother’s house to have a little cyber-Christmas action with their other granddaughter. I didn’t think twice about it while setting up the Mac for them in the 4-season, but within seconds it seemed there was my niece, just 4 months older than Anna should be, toddling her way towards the screen with curiosity and Mom crooning to get a her attention and hopefully, a rewarding smile. Which is absolutely fine! Who would expect any different? We certainly don’t begrudge anythingthey do with her, it just....sucks for us! (And I mean all of us, particularly here and now with Brad & I, while my parents are reveling in her, they can’t not think of Anna and all they are missing in this visit.) Poor Dad felt bad and was trying to engage (or continue, by the time I got there) in an Anna-related topic in the kitchen several feet away but I just wanted outta there and f0r about 60 seconds there was an intensity of desperation, misery, and protocol-anxiety that begged for the universe to freakin’ HOLD-IT for a sec while we get our bearings for god’s sake!!! Nothing that 3-5 minutes of debriefing and preparation for how to go about this wouldn’t easily have taken care of. But we weren’t thinking and it all happened so quickly. So now here we were with them feeling guilty and Brad and I just wanting to be away while it occurred with no “I’m sorries” afterwards, because really, what is there to do? It is was it is. But oh, were we pissy that we have no little gem to fawn over and that there is no bed-headed bundle we’re forcing to open presents as if she’d have any idea what’s going on and no videos to take and no.... memories being made. Not of the kind you care to remember, anyway. (Of course as soon as I write that, I’m instantly grateful that my parents were here and that they ARE here, for they won’t always be, and I’ll wish for this Christmas back, despite it all. I can be the grand marshall of the pity party parade, no doubt about it, but have recovered enough this last year to sincerely count my blessings. Nine or so months ago, I cared not one whit about any blessings. So hopefully I get at least a few points back on the great karmic scale of gratitude vs self-involvement? Maybe? Maybe not.)
Anyway, the day moved on ‘per normal’ after that albeit dreading the great Opening of Presents tradition that is such a part of us we can’t stop ourselves. (That, and better to just get it over with!) So, late that afternoon we sat down and I swear did our damndest to pretend this wasn’t a Tim Burtonesque holiday (google him, those of you over 60). ;-) Half same-as-always, half tears as the first gifts were about each other, the remainder about Anna. The overriding attitude of the day? Keep in mind that there was no swearing in my childhood household and any that occurs as adults is done with 1) a lowered voice, 2) an expression of guilt and 3) an unspoken plea for forgiveness. In culmination of the great gift opening, Brad says, as he’s hugging my parents, “MerryF***ing Christmas!!!” And no one batted an eye.