Margaret is asleep. Little Miss Viola Honey is cooing next to me and the house is clean. Well. All the clutter is shoved in closets and under beds. So. The house is basically clean. Our little Christmas tree glows against our purple walls and I think about my girls. They have come to a crazy little woman. I never finish anything. My personality tends to the flighty. I mean everything I promise. And get around to about thirty percent of it. My tastes are well, eclectic. The last time I was really proud of an outfit my mom said I looked like,
"a homeless woman. But, you know, one that had happened upon a bin of really expensive mismatched clothes."
I want to give these two darlings the whole world, but around here a successful morning is one where I have been able to find a pair of socks for each of us. (Much harder than you would think.)
Christmas, while joyful and colorful and magical, is also brimming with feelings of inadequacy. I so want to be that family. You know the one. From November 1st to December 31st their house would make the North Pole envious. Their homemade caramel never burns and the kids aren't crying in their Christmas card picture. The family with carol singing and traditions the children still love when they are eighty and their children's children are having babies. My house is usually too filled with diapers to stir up any feeling, except maybe a desire for a bigger trash can. I can't make rice without burning it black, so attempting homemade caramel might border on the insane. And Margaret cries every time someone points a camera at her. We do sing carols. And I am inordinately proud of that. As for traditions? I want to give my children traditions. Little bits of stability and safety they can retreat to when they are adults and the world is a little less friendly. There have been attempts. Most of which involve me losing, breaking or forgetting the most important part. Head in my hands, I know. The woman who cannot keep her children in socks is unlikely to be a woman that keeps traditions.
Yesterday, my lovely husband reminded me of a couple of verses in Matthew,
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
This is the first and great commandment.
Sweet relief. The first and great commandment from our Heavenly Father, the creator of the universe, of stars and space and light and me, is about love. And honey, I know how to love. That is something I can give these little souls He sent my way. And give in abundance. The caramel making they will have to learn from someone else.
Traditions? Maybe next year. This Christmas, love and a viewing of It's a Wonderful Life will just have to be enough.
I think it is.
Postscript. I burned two grilled cheese sandwiches while writing this post. Typical.