As I predicted, Christmas came and went as it always does, ready or not. It’s all over but the random new stuff in the living room that needs a home and the Christmas decorations that needs to be tucked into boxes and the leftover ham which needs to be cooked with beans. (I just interrupted this blog post to find a recipe and to dump the beans into a pot with cold water so they can soak overnight.)
I did make a last minute run on Christmas Eve to Target on behalf of one of my sons. He wanted to buy Christmas “crackers” for his brothers–and when he tried on Monday, he was asked for proof that he’s over 18–which he is not–so he was not allowed to buy them. (“Crackers” which contain trinkets and paper hats and kind of pop open . . . they are more common in the United Kingdom. Not the crackers that you eat.) Anyway, so I went to buy them and I was asked for identification as well. Weird.
Then I went to the grocery store for last-last minute items. While in the baking aisle, I encountered a man who reminded me so strongly of my dad that tears sprang to my eyes and I had to sternly tell myself to get it together. My dad has been gone for twenty-five years–he died from cancer when he was only 47 and I’ve been without him for more than half my life. Still, it was startling to run into someone who reminded me of him so much.
On Christmas Eve, after running those errands, I spent the rest of the afternoon in the kitchen making family favorites like homemade Chex Mix and cut-out cookies (that’s what we call sugar cookies that you cut out in shapes) and peanut butter blossoms, those cookies with a Hershey’s kiss in the center. Then, all of a sudden, it was time to tidy up and hurry to church where my daughter sang her first-ever solo in front of the Christmas Eve crowd. I never even knew she could sing until about a year ago and there she was, singing confidently and beautifully in front of everyone. (I played the piano for her and a band played along–which was funny because we never rehearsed together before that night. I was most definitely the weakest link in that entire situation.)
My major accomplishment today was getting my outdoor fountain running again. When we have heavy rain, the electrical circuit outdoor breaks, so I have to let everything dry out, flip the circuit breaker, press the mysterious little red button in the bathroom outlet and then turn the fountain back on. There must be a secret special order in which to do all these things because it didn’t work the first or second or third time I tried, but then mysteriously, the fountain turned back on and water began to flow and all is well again in my sensory world.
I’ve been reading Unbroken and looking forward to seeing the movie.
I’m thinking lately about how hard it is to be the parent of adult and almost-adult kids. When I was that almost-adult kid and twenty-something adult, I didn’t feel like I was a worry to my parents at all. I am not at liberty to really discuss details in a public forum, but man, oh man, it’s a tricky thing to be a parent at this stage–far more challenging than the tantrum-stage of earlier days or the no-sleep stage of babyhood or the despairing days of fourth grade homework. Mostly because not much is in my control and it’s not in anyone’s best interest for me to save anyone from themselves. It’s hard.
In other news, I took my dog to the beach last night to see the sunset (illegally, as dogs are not allowed on that particular beach) and she avoided even getting her paws wet in the surf. Her breed is supposed to like water, but she did not get the memo.
In other other news, the television meteorologist said there’s a frost advisory tonight, so I brought in the houseplants tonight. I am absolutely loving the cooler weather. It’s nice to wear socks and a sweater occasionally.