Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Christmas Story

I did not mean for it to happen, but in someways this blog has become a place that only shows the 'making things' side of my life, or the 'taking pictures of things', or the 'I have to show you these things"...you know, that need to document achievements in creating. I thought I might swing it in other direction this year, but that never came to be. In many ways, my actions went just the opposite of my desires.

We had a Christmas open house at our home today. We were almost on top of things, cleaning almost done, kitchen duties not quite there, mid afternoon rolling around and I had yet to change out of pajamas and an apron, no bra, of course. SO many things had to be done in prep, including the cutting of snowflakes out of wax paper to stick to the windows as decor, (essential, right?). I did assign the task to my very willing brothers, but it was so fun, much more fun than the stack of dishes in the sink. And so one o'clock rolled in, me in kitchen unkempt and sweating, and not a bit of make up on my face (still in pajamas and an apron) and Tim comes through the front door and says to me, "You might want to get some clothes on, Mrs. B is here".

So, to explain a little, Mrs. B is their teacher and I love her. Have developed a bit of a crush, in fact. The kind where you think the person would make a great friend, but she is your kids' teacher and so, you know, all is good with boundaries and whatever. But then she held your kid's bleeding finger in her sweatshirt and cried after he left with his Dad to to the ER, so now she is a bit of your idol. And she knows what lumpia are and is coming for the Christmas party at your humble home, so you would prefer to greet her not in your skivvies, you know? So, I dashed to the bedroom, put on deodorant and some of my infamous eyeliner and a dress and flip flops (because it is warm again) and then the party began. An hour early. You know what that hour would have meant to me, right?

But right then, I decided not to care. What the house looked like, what I looked like, that no food was really ready, that I was wearing a dress and forgot to shave my legs...because these were all people I love coming over. All with children under 6. So they are in it, you know. My friends with an 18 month old and a 2 month old were over and there were hands galore to hold both. The toddlers toddled, the two year olds followed the 5 year olds with idolization glazing their eyeballs, the two 5 year olds blazed trails in the backyard, there was whooping and hollering and adults laughing with kids and adults having beers and wine, and lot and lots of lumpias.

I did not pick up a camera once. I did not even look for the opportunity. Sometimes it is so nice not to document, but to just live it. To mesh and meld into your people, your oddly cobbled together tribe of real people, the families that do not mind passing their child off to your friend that still smells like cigarette smoke, or that Tim's aunt brought her new girlfriend, or that we did not ever get around to putting the door casing around the door that we hung 4 years ago (but we did finally get a lock on the bathroom sliding door, much to many folks relief).

That is my real life, people. The pictures tell their story, but the real life is what it is. It is me, not ready for a party I planned. It is my family cutting out snowflakes because they come out so damn cool. It is pulling a wagon loaded with my youngest brother's girlfriend's sisters (you figure that one out) that are the same age as my boys....showing off our street's Christmas lights. And a family asking us if we had four, and me not being freaked out by it, but actually just intrigued. And having so much fun watching and playing and being in it all. It makes me wish Holiday Lumpia Season came around more often...it forces me to interact with the people I love.

Most of our time is spent with Us, my family. All consuming and all wonderful. But days like this remind me why people chose to live in tribes. Chaos, yes. But a beautiful vivid jumbley chaos. It is messy but so much fun, and when it is that much fun, you just do not want it to go away.

I hope your season is bringing just as much light and love into your days. Today was a great reminder if why we live the way we do, and who we love and why. And I am sure picture taking and documentation will resume and though I might want to find a new way of writing, it might not come. But there is always the NEw Year for resolutions. Right.

12 comments:

MJ said...

Sounds wonderful! That was the spirit of the holidays right there.

Tell me more about holiday lumpia!

LauraC said...

I think this post hit on exactly what the season (and life) is all about. The blog, well that is a slice of life that is never intended to be life like it really is. Merely some highlights.

sweetpea16 said...

Once again, with the post you did what we in dutch call 'de spijker op de kop slagen' (hitting the nail on the head), ie say very thing that is sooo real :) I hope you're getting what I'm trying to say cos I think I just confused myself... In other words 'Amen to that'!!!

Cheers Eva

Sarah-potterknitter said...

Having been snowed in for three days I can really understand the need for a tribe. I've spent more time on the phone in the last few days than I have in years! And so jealous of my husband who hiked up to the highway and at least got to wave to neighbors while he shoveled our cars out.
I had grand plans for a kid friendly New Years Eve party, but my BF is out of town, so enthusiasm fizzled. Oh well.
Glad your party went well, sounds like most of our summer cookouts right down to the hairy legs!

Dawn Johnson Warren said...

I know what you mean about having that crush. Every time I read your blog posts and get little tears of joy or sorrow in my eyes, I wish I lived closer to you so that I could be your friend in "real life". Anyway, I know what you mean as well about not picking up the camera and making all sorts of memories in your heart. Happiest of holidays to you and your beautiful family and circle of friends. Keep doing what y'all do to make this a more beautiful and magical place to live!

Jenn said...

Thank you for this. The lovely, honest beauty of life.

Selma said...

I couldn't agree more. Those moments where you just get in and celebrate and really enjoy yourself are the best of all. I find when I have all the cameras out ready to record and document it all, I don't enjoy the day so much. Sometimes it is best just to live it.

Kellee said...

I agree with you more. I've always felt that I end up missing out on the greater experience when I'm only experiencing things through the viewfinder. Sometimes people are upset by this, "What? You didn't take pictures? Whyyy?"

My sister won the state championship for volleyball not long ago. I didn't bring out the camera once. I watched the game. The whole thing. If I had spent that time trying to snap the perfect shot of her hitting the perfect shot, as I have done before, I would have missed the game, as I usually do. No regrets on my end. :)

meyer said...

sounds like a perfect party to me. a happy christmas to you and your family, and a happy new year!x anne

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Julia (MindofWinter) said...

I love your writing. But this post is really special. I hope that you will do all that you intend and have a merry, merry Christmas.
Love, Julia

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