Holiday Expectations

Happy weekend between Christmas and New Year’s!  Things have been all over the place here, meaning very little has gone according to plan or expectations, but we’re moving right along.  Both boys woke up several times in the night before Christmas, and so none of us slept well.  Douglas woke up Christmas morning with a huge barking cough, a fever, a super sore throat, and the desire to do nothing but lay on the couch and sleep and whimper.  Poor kid, he didn’t enjoy much of anything that day.  I stayed home from the Christmas dinner we were to all go to, at the house of one of his best friends, and we got cozy and watched The Polar Express instead.  His presents were opened sporadically throughout the day, with a couple smiles but no enthusiasm.  I confess to being pretty irritable about it, feeling a bit gypped myself.  I ended up falling asleep at 8. 

Yesterday was good, and I’d arranged a few days before to spend the night w/a girlfriend whose family was out of town.  We were to hit a movie, have some wine, and stay up late talking.  I’d planned to come home in the morning after my run and a swing past the farmer’s market.  As I was walking out the door after dinner I discovered that my dear husband had forgotten to tell me that the job he’d started that day was a rush one and they’d have to work right through the weekend.  I had to be home by 8am.  All of a sudden a relaxing night with no real deadlines turned into a ‘get to bed at a decent hour so I can get up and home’ kind of night, a whole other thing to me.  My expectations had to be reset, and it wasn’t easy.  I ended up ditching the run and market, and getting 5 hours of sleep.  It was still great to get away, but somehow it seems harder and harder to reset my expectations as I get older.  Why is that so hard?  I really count on those few hours away to balance out my time at home.  I hadn’t really taken time away, except for errands a couple nights, for a month.  I hate that my balance is so fragile that I start to fall apart if some bit of me-time disappears, or social time with other adults gets removed.  I hate that I even have those expectations and needs, but I do.  There’s guilt attached, a lot of it.  Guilt for needing to be away from my kids.  All that.

On the other hand, I had one strange but certain expectation fufilled, and it was fabulous!  I had Douglas enter a coloring contest online, and when I downloaded the sheet for him to color I had a 98% sure feeling he’d win.  Totally random drawing, no way I could be sure, but I had that insane certainty.  Sure enough, I looked online Christmas day and he’d had his name chosen as the winner of a new scooter.  I told OMSH, who ran the contest, that she and God made a great team :).  Unreasonable expectations that were competely met!  It’s only happened to me a couple of times in my life, but each time it’s been right.  He was delighted, and it means that he can throw out the old partially-fixed one we’d salvaged from the neighbor’s trash last year that never worked right.  I’d call that a blessed Christmas!