I had high hopes for the day after Thanksgiving. I always do. In my mind, it’s a day filled with Christmas carols, homemade cookies, candle light and decorating the tree. You know, the stuff of memory making and family traditions. In my mind, it’s all beautiful and perfect with perfectly dressed, rosy cheeked kiddos, me wearing an apron and high-heels like some 1950’s sitcom mom, and Eric carrying in logs for the fireplace. You know that’s not what happened, right?
Reality was four kiddos, tired from two Thanksgiving celebrations the day before, needing baths I was too tired to give. We spent the morning in our jammies, piddling around the house. Eric worked on our computer, backing things up since it’s getting old and starting to show it’s age and I don’t want to lose the thousands of pictures I take of my littles if it goes down. I spent the morning in the kitchen, cleaning up the breakfast mess we left in our haste to get to grandma’s house the day before. Gross. I know. But, it’s life.
Thankfully, I had managed to get the tree put up and the lights strung one night while the kids were in bed. Eric had carried the decorations up from the basement. I managed to get the kitchen clean and threw together a half-batch of cinnamon rolls and let them rise while I put the littles in bed for a nap. I spent nap-time finishing my cinnamon rolls and making the side dishes to go with the turkey my MIL was bringing for supper. Totally off the subject, but I decided to fry a few of the cinnamon rolls like donuts and I am so totally ruined to any donut or cinnamon roll in the future. They were warm, with crispy outsides and soft, sweet, cinnamony (is that a word… probably not) insides. Oh my! You must try this. Ahem… Anyway… Where was I?
After nap, we ate those unbelievable donut creations and got the happy little tradition going. Sarah was wearing a beautiful, red dress from our dress-up clothes. She looked like Mrs. Claus. We decorated the tree, trying our best to take turns getting ornaments. As usual, it was a test of patience as the kids are very excited to put up the ornaments. I unpacked ornaments with great speed (so hard to keep up with four sets of decorating hands) while Eric supervised Sam’s decorating/un-decorating efforts. I feel like I missed the whole thing. It was over so quickly that I didn’t snap a single picture.
We enjoyed the evening with Eric’s folks, eating our third and last Thanksgiving meal for the year. The turkey was delicious and the angel food cake my MIL brought was amazing. I was able to sit and visit and finish the scarf I started crocheting the day before. It was nice. I even enjoyed a cup of tea and got the kitchen cleaned up before bed last night.
So, it’s not a Norman Rockwell painting. It’s nowhere near what I imagine in my head. Martha Stewart would be so ashamed. But you know what? I’m not disappointed. In the past, I have been. I feel like I have failed to pull it all together and make a perfect celebration. All they little things left undone stare accusingly at me. I tear myself down for my inadequacy.
I wonder what my kids will remember of our “Black Friday” tradition. Will they remember that mom’s kitchen floor was sticky or will they remember that mom made some seriously awesome donuts out of cinnamon rolls? Will they remember that bare spot where there were no ornaments on my tree or will they remember the fact that we all worked together to decorate that tree? Will they remember me stewing over all the hopes I had built in my head that didn’t work out or will they remember how much their momma and daddy love them?
So, I won’t grumble today about the way things went yesterday. It wasn’t some perfect fairytale story set in a perfectly clean and decorated home. It was real life. It was real love. I hope they remember.