Tuesday, December 20, 2011
a christmas lesson from cam.
Christmas is a strange time of year for me. I am tempted to completely overdo it, but I'm also stressed out because there is just so much to do. And I want it to be perfect, but I know it can't be. Most of all, I want my kids to grow up feeling like Christmas is a fun and relaxing holiday where everyone is happy (damn it!).
Part of my picture of a perfect (and fun and relaxing) Christmas, is the kids having Christmas sheets for their beds. Specifically, flannel Christmas sheets. I have no idea where this came from (or exactly what is fun for kids about sheets?). I certainly never had Christmas sheets, and I turned out relatively okay. Plus, I doubt holly covered sheets would have helped the current demons I'm battling (that's a question for my next appointment).
Anyway, when I was finishing up my shopping last weekend, I passed by the sheet aisle and there they were - calling to me. I picked up a set of twin sheets for Cam's bed and put them in the cart. I wasn't going to buy a set for Max's bed, figuring he wouldn't get it, and wouldn't care either way. Mother guilt kicked in, and I picked out a set for his bed and put them in the cart. For a second I thought to myself that the last thing I need is for Max to look at me when he's in his 20's and say "I will never forget how you didn't buy me Christmas sheets - you are a terrible mother!".
I got home, washed the sheets, and made their beds up. Within an hour, Max had a potty training accident on his bed. The Christmas sheets were no longer full of joy and fun, but were covered in something entirely different. So much for that. I stripped the sheets, remade the bed and salvaged the pillow cases, the irony of it all not escaping me. At bedtime, I asked Cam if she was excited to sleep in her special Christmas bed, and she told me "I want to sleep with Max". Typical.
Later that evening, I went in to tuck them in and found them wrapped up like baby burritos. And while the Christmas sheets were still in the wash, the pillowcases had survived. Not quite what I had in mind, but Christmas isn't always about the intended results. Cam showed me that by relaxing and letting the "fun" win out, that's where the happy memories come from.