Crushed by Christmas! In A Good Way….

I love Christmastime. If it didn’t exist, I would probably never think of anyone else all year. It’s important to be forced to acknowledge all the people who touch our lives. I need a deadline to learn the names of all the teachers and classroom helpers at our kids’ schools and put together small gifts and cards saying “THANK YOU”. Same for the hardworking office staff who decipher my handwriting, beg for same-day urgent CT scans and ultrasounds that I ask for, and tolerate all kinds of behavior from my patients, naughty and nice. And the newspaper guy who leaves our paper on our front steps; the mailman who always stops to chat sports; the neighbors who helped me shovel out after the heavy wet snow last weekend…

I even like being out in the cold. I love a snowstorm, the almost imperceptible white noise of snow falling. I like shoveling, too, even though I’m still nursing a pinched nerve in my neck from that last one… even with the neighbors’ help, the snow was brutally heavy and icy…

But this season, I’m really struggling to stay organized. I’ve made lists and gone out shopping and came home with all the stuff and put together the gifts, and then realized I left a few key people off, or I forgot this or that, or I can’t find what I got last week for so-and-so. We managed to make it to our daughter’s school Christmas party in a snowstorm- even though it was crazy and stressful, we got the kids and ourselves suited up, the car cleaned off, and  we slid and swerved all the way, but we made it, even remembering  the paper plates we signed up to bring. (I loved that the fancy daycare didn’t cancel! Obviously the director is a hardy New Englander.)  The schools have had book swaps and pajama days… it’s all good and so cute, but it’s more things to remember. I even made it to a neighbor’s Holiday get-together on the weekend, I got a babysitter for the evening so I could show up and see people, even if just for an hour. It was good, but I was sort of thinking, I could be home resting.

It’s all good stuff, really. It’s just… exhausting.

I know alot of it is simply that I work a job that uses up alot of my brainpower and energy, we have two small kids who demand even more, and a hubby who travels every week, basically. It’s almost impossible to be on top of everything, to find balance in general, never mind adding on the numerous events, tasks, and responsibilities of Christmastime…

Then there’s been the illnesses. Babyboy was sent home from school last week with coughing and vomiting…posttussive emesis. The school had had a confirmed, culture-positive case of Whooping cough a week or so prior, so they asked us to have him evaluated. Ugh. The pedi did a nasal culture, very unpleasant, and decided to treat empirically. Babyboy went on Azithromycin, and had to stay home for five whole days.

So, he’s missed alot of school lately. We had the trip to Guatemala, then the GI bug, then both kids had a regular old cold and cough, then this cough that was not really Pertussis, and next week, it’s Christmas Break…

All this illness means sleep has not always gone so well. Kids wake up in the night coughing, or wake up early not feeling well. It’s been a long stretch of inadequate, disrupted sleep. We’re trying to stay in good humor- it is, after all, Christmas!

And while our lives are hectic and kids get sick, overall, things are fine and well for us. Life is good. We remember that. Or try to. And we remember the people who touch out lives.


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