Christmas 2010 came, it went. I am not sad that the Christmas tree came down. I do not miss the decorations. This was a wonderful holiday, it truly was, but I am okay to let it go. Been there, done that. I say bring on the routine.
As much as I hate to admit it, routine has its benefits. I didn’t know I craved structure, but it seems I do – well, so long as it is squishy structure. Think of it like a huge bubble of structure, shaped by predictable routine with soft, impenetrable walls that stretch and rebound to fit my spontaneous mood swings. That’s how I like life: rounded and stretchy, predictable but flexible (sort of like the fabulous thermal tights that I got for Christmas. Thank God for Lycra.).
After two weeks off, even my children were getting that wide-eyed look for the comfort of school bells and recess breaks. There is something secure in knowing what’s expected in a day and how much time you have to whine about it before the next academic subject begins. Bedtime, mealtime, appropriate television viewing time all went out the window. Around the fifth day of the first week, we turned to each other and said, “when was the last time we bathed the kids?” That’s probably not okay.
While we skated a lot and played games together, it doesn’t matter how much there is to do, when their routine is off, the kids get bored of these things too. Plus, two weeks for our children to be without their school friends every day is torture, apparently. Like most parents, I have come to understand that I am no longer all that amusing or cool. I have been demoted to the fallback position of “well, there is nobody else to talk too.” Yes, after two weeks of family time, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.
I will miss having the Carpenter around, though. For four days in a row, he was present in the daylight. I am happy to announce that, despite his absence on any job sites, the world continued to spin and most natural disasters were avoided. Yes, it’s true, the Carpenter can take time off work. Okay, to be fair, they were statutory holidays and he was up and at ‘em the minute the alarm clock came on for Dec. 29, but hey, we take what we can get (it should be noted the bathroom remains unfinished and, in the spirit of the season, there was absolutely no remarks made to state the obvious. Please note: the season is now over. The gloves are officially off).
I don’t mean to brag, but I even got in a few naps this holiday. Perhaps they could have been better planned and yes, it is rude to fall asleep in someone else’s house on Christmas day, but without my predictable routine, my body clock was so out of whack that I know I conked out in mid-conversation with someone. What can I say? Take away my routine and well, I’m unconscious.
This week, I was back to packing lunches and signing school agendas, laundry and pushing deadlines. It feels good. It’s a New Year, full of new possibilities, safe in structure and totally unpredictable in every other way. It’s exciting to anticipate what’s next. It’s nice to get everyone out of the house too.
Here we go again.