One day I woke up and was the room mom for my third child. I’d been there and done that so it was nothing new. You know, the usual, Christmas themed plates/napkins, fruit trays, chicken nugget trays, uncrustables, chips, cupcakes, cookies, and a couple of crafts to boot. We made jingle bell necklaces, foam Christmas trees, and painted ornaments (all without any help from PINTEREST…just sayin’). Moms talked about how stressful the season is, plans for the holidays, and what “Santa Claus” was getting for the kids. We played games like “See how fast you can unwrap the hershey kisses (while wearing gloves)”, “Dress up like a snowman”, and “Christmas bingo”. We decorated cookies with icing and sprinkles and gathered around for a Christmas story. You know…the same ol’ same ol’.
Then one day I woke up and no longer had any “school parties” to attend. No pictures to take around the classroom Christmas tree with the teacher. No homemade ornaments or gifts. Instead, I was asked to go buy a $10 gift and chauffeur a few teenage girls to a drop off location of which I’d need to pick up from in approximately 90 minutes. Not wanting to drive across town through traffic both ways, I stopped off at Target and wandered through the
dollar section $3-$5 section and saw all sorts of cute things to buy for little kid’s stockings and friend gifts. I even put a few in my buggy as I racked my brain of who I could give them to. Eventually, I put the items back in the bins and picked up a pair of $15 headphones, a $10 Starbucks gift card, a $12 beanie for stocking stuffers and a 24 pk of sodas (that will be gone in 2 days). Upon leaving the store I realized I’d dropped $50 on 1 stocking stuffer per kid and scratched my head with the reality of just how expensive things are when the kids get bigger.
I had another 20 minutes to kill “waiting on my child”, so I went to the pickup location and sat in the car scrolling through social media on my phone. That’s when I saw them.
I have a lot of “friends” on social media. Don’t you? Young and old, new and established, best friends and acquaintances. Many of whom are in a different phase of life than me currently. As I scroll through the pictures, I see many moms (ahem, and dads) crouched in those itty bitty chairs next to their child. Sitting in front of a plate of Christmas goodies laid on a table strewn with craft remnants of glitter (the teacher’s nemesis), pom-poms (do they EVER stick to ANYTHING??), and a few paper sticker backs (kids refuse to throw them away for some reason).
And it hits me. And for a minute I feel a tinge of guilt. Guilt for not fully enjoying those moments. Guilt for actually dreading them at times. Then I feel sad. Sorry that those days are gone. My mind reminisces about those sweet moments with my kids as I keep scrolling through the pictures. My recall experience is interrupted with a “DING”…think Clark falling through the ceiling in the middle of his “walk down memory lane” in the attic on National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (ONLY the BEST Christmas movie EVER).
It’s a text message.
Text message FROM Dear Daughter: “Mom, we aren’t quite finished yet. It’s going to be another 15 minutes. Is that ok? Oh, and can we go to Eastchase for a while and look around? There is a new shirt I want to show”
My response: Uh, NO, It’s not ok!!! I am just going to leave you here! I’ve been sitting here waiting for 30 minutes already and I could’ve been home getting a lot of stuff done young lady! You are so inconsiderate sometimes. My life does not revolve around you, regardless of what you might think! And that shirt?? You WANT ANOTHER SHIRT?? Did you think money grows on trees? I’ve already forked out $100 today and all that got me was 3 stocking stuffers, lunch at a nice restaurant for YOU, and a gift for one of your friends. Adding that to the gazillion and $12 I’ve already spent this week, the answer is NO…no we cannot go to Eastchase to “look around”. No, I dont’ want to see yet ANOTHER tshirt that you like, “need”, want! Besides, I have to get home and I do not want to drive back out here in all of this traffic to pick you up in another hour. I do have a life you know. Good grief!
Text message TO Dear Daughter: “Sure, honey, I’m here, but I can wait a few more minutes. I’ll just find an errand or two to run while yall are looking around at Eastchase. Love you” (emoji, emoji)
Do you hear me moms of teens? I KNOW you’ve been there…come back tomorrow and read about my second chance to relive Christmas past…
the whole truth & nothing but,