I'm pulling out segregated plastic plates and doing mental math to calculate which of my children our menu will offend.
There is always at least one at every meal-- the odds are stacked against me-- but I try to not let that bother me, because my children were not only born with strongly opposing palates, they also possess cute round faces and the ability to make me laugh; somehow it all balances out in the end.
Besides, this meal has recently become my favorite meal, and who am I kidding, maybe this is all about me, anyway.
To me this meal says slow down, stay inside, look them in they eye.
For them, slowing down means that they have the time to notice that it is December and we have not put up our Christmas tree yet.
I suggest to them that the odds of me harvesting an evergreen from our basement may be directly proportionate to the odds of every last cup and spoon finding the path to the dishwasher without me, and magically, all those holdouts remember the way.
By no less of a miracle, I make my way downstairs to hold up my end of the deal.
Fake tree. Faking-it mom.
I'm not really feeling this whole Christmas thing, and my intuitive ten year-old recognizes it in me.
I joke again, that my kids are the only ones in town who have a a man named Ebenezer for a mom.
In between reacquainting myself with the pieces of our spruce, I test the tangled mess of lights and discover that not a single strand is in the mood either. I head back upstairs with more tree and the announcement that all is not bright.
Before I reach my waiting children in front of that picture window, however, I hear it, and it pulls, genuine across my face.
That spunky child who knows me, knows.
She has found the Christmas music and is dancing with her siblings around the couch and chairs, and in every space between:
Said the night wind to the little lamb,
Do you see what I see?
Said the little lamb to the shepherd boy,
Do you hear what I hear?
Said the shepherd boy to the mighty king,
do you know what I know?
Said the king to the people everywhere,
listen to what I say-
He will bring us goodness and light
He will bring us goodness and light.
God pulls gently at the source of this knotted up life--the greatest unraveling-- and somehow, it all balances out in the end.
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