I checked Stephanie's blog this morning even though a new post was not shown on Bloglines. I was rewarded with the words I knew she had been pondering recently. She called last night as she drove to her birthday celebration, in the rain turning to ice, in the dark... not the best of conditions but this was one determined woman.
Few things can get in the way of a mother of young children when she finally gets a chance to meet with friends at the Olive Garden (although ice did keep one of her friends at home, one who lived where the ice formed earlier).
How different her Christmas season is from mine. This year I am spending a great deal of time at home, enjoying peace and quiet. At least when the guys let me have that peace... and quiet. But even then, I know there are going to be long stretches of time for reading and pondering with my only interruption coming from a plump, furry, elderly cat who loves constant attention.
I opened Christmas boxes and brought out most of my indoor decorations this year, knowing I'd be home to enjoy them. The only box which remains full is that which contains outside decorations. The porch this year received minimal attention but that is fine... it looks very simple and as one would expect in the country.
I have never known what it was like having many small children around at the same time. In His Infinite Wisdom, God gave me my two living children twelve years apart. I didn't understand it at the time, why there were not many more little feet running around, but at this stage of life I can look back and know He gave me that for which I was best suited. Great kids... twelve years apart.
So... my heart goes out to young families with little children. I remember the Christmas seasons balancing church, school (both public schools and then homeschooling), friends, family get-togethers, hubby's work responsibilities, my own work requirements when I worked outside the home, and... the desire to decorate my home and continue important Traditions within my immediate family. Yes, those were years when I had a love/hate relationship with that time from Thanksgiving to New Years Day.
I know you've heard this from others and it is quite true... trust me... as crazy as these years are, you will find yourself in seasons ahead... when the tree is lit, tea or hot chocolate is made, the music is in the background... and all is at Peace.
You will sigh for awhile and enjoy the quiet but then the memories return and just for a little while... perhaps for one day... how wonderful it would be to enter into that chaos one more time. Just to see each child again when they were small and warm and needing to be cuddled. To hear the laughter and the fun once again... within the confines of chaos.
As Dickens' Ghost of Christmas Past reminded Scrooge of the joy he once experienced as he watched scenes long gone, we look at pictures and remember the fun... long forgetting the exhaustion... memories filtered through the experiences of life and embraced for what they were... moments of life which seemed so long as we went through them but in reality were but wisps of air flying by at great speed.
Enjoy the moment.
Picture: Merry Christmas Snowball Fight; allposters.com