Ray actually told me that I have been a Scrooge this year. Sadly, I have to admit that I have been. I didn't want to have to do all those little things that I feel like I have to do. The pressure was weighing me down.
We hit the road very early Sunday morning. We've celebrated Christmas with Nana and Papa, Uncle Mike and Aunt Sharon. There's been time to catch up, presents opened and a trip for Jack to meet his great grandma for the first time. Rays works outside a lot wiring this or fixing that. The girls got their fill of running around playing tag yesterday. My shoulders still felt heavy even with a laid back schedule of Christmas vacation.
Tonight, Jack had a moment... a crocodile tears moment. Sometimes the lack of communication is just too much to bare. He couldn't tell me what he wanted. I'm honestly not sure if he even knew. We sort of watched it build all day. Ray headed back to TN to work just before dinner. A little later the pout started turning into feet stomping. I try to distract him but there are times when it's like riding a roller coaster. All day long I felt like I was being pulled to the top of a hill. There are butterflies of anticipation. You know it's coming, a steep fast drop...but I'm in that back car and it seems like it will never happen. Then it does... A toy goes flying. I very firmly tell Jack no, take the toy and sit him down. His lip immediately turns in an upside down U. His eyes look as far away from me as they can and he squints until they are almost closed. I almost have time to say, "Let the wailing begin!" when the cries and moans start.
Tonight was a good one. It was almost 15 of ...well the term weeping and gnashing of teeth comes to mind. Three extra mamas who want to make it better and one who just wants him to understand why it's not okay to hurdle things across the room when you are angry. For a bit Christmas didn't matter. Being grumpy didn't matter. All that mattered was finding a way to communicate and comfort a lost little boy.
Jack bounced back but he wasn't Happy Jack. He was sort of out of it. His whines were spreading quickly through to the girls. That weight was getting mighty heavy. Then Pa pa saved the day. He got out his harmonica and started to play Silent Night then Amazing Grace...then his tunes started to pick up the pace. Before I knew it there were four kids having a hoe down in the middle of the living room. Pa pa was laughing and winded but as long as they danced and stopped to applaud each song, he kept playing. The girls were happy and I also had Happy Jack back. It was a bit of a Christmas miracle and the weight started to lift a little.
We had dinner and I sent all four kids to bed early. They are exhausted and in the morning we leave for Kentucky. Nana was fast asleep in her recliner and I watched some weird reality tv show about a pawn shop in Detroit. I would never have watched that at home. Now I'm glad I gave it a chance. Pa pa and I had a big time watching the people come in to sell and pawn the strangest things. It also gave me a perspective of how desperate times have become for some people.
When I got up to come to bed, the stress and the rush has disappeared. Just me and four kiddos hitting the road in the morning. I am determined to leave the grumpy Scrooge behind. If I had to be a Scrooge this year, at least I realized it before Christmas eve in time to enjoy it!
Merry Christmas and may God bless us, everyone!
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