rooted, but still growing

Archive for November 2007

Want to know what I did today? Of course you do. I finished up the first leg of my Christmas shopping.

Yup, that’s right. It’s Nov. 4, and I have half of my shopping finished. Be jealous, my friends, be jealous.

I also spent a good portion of the afternoon sorting gifts into boxes to be wrapped on a date a little closer to Christmas. Didn’t want to get too crazy there … must be sure to save some of the fun for later, seeing as there are still 50 days to go.

A lot of people grumble about the way the holidays seem to arrive just a bit sooner every year. Even I was a bit surprised to see that all the local department stores had their Christmas decorations and merchandise out just a few days past Halloween. Christmas is commercialism at its best (or worst?) and I suppose there’s just no time to waste when you’re in the business of making money.

Before anyone accuses me of contributing to the capitalistic agenda, hear me out. I don’t shop early because I’m eager to drop my hard-earned cash into the tight-fisted hands of corporate America. I shop early because, in a way, it prevents me from becoming disorganized and overwhelmed during a time of year that I really, really would rather experience joyfully. As much as I enjoy receiving gifts from my family and friends, my greatest pleasure is in the giving. I spend hours, sometimes even days, contemplating just what will make “the perfect” present and often get so excited about it that I can barely wait to hand it to its recipient. This year has been particularly fun so far because it’s the first time I’ve really gotten to shop for the boys. I’ve mostly purchased them clothing, with a few odds and ends as stocking stuffers thrown in for good measure. I’ve probably gone a little overboard, but it’s important to me that they all know that we’re here and that we love them. Christmas is such a special time for children, and I want them to be happy. I do worry a bit that they won’t like what I’ve picked out, but I tried to keep their styles and interests in mind. Luckily, K1 is young enough that it doesn’t really matter, and K1 and N are typical teenage boys whose primary concern is looking cool around their friends. I think I’ll be okay.

I’m really, really looking forward to this Christmas. This will actually be the first that Steve and I will spend together, as he visited K1 and K2 the past two years. I’m not quite sure what we’ll be doing … I don’t know if we’re going to spend it here alone, or go back to Elkins and spend it with family. Part of me really wants to go home … I’ve experienced 27 Christmases in my lifetime and all of them have been at my parents’. I like cooking with my mom, curling up in my old room watching It’s a Wonderful Life, and tossing balled-up wrapping paper down the hall for the cat to chase. All my best Christmas memories have taken place in that little house and I kind of want to hang on to them.

But grow up we must … and this year is going to be different. And somewhat difficult. I know that nothing is ever really normal, but sometimes I just wish so hard that things weren’t always this complicated. Though I understood the reasons, I was really upset last year and the year before that Steve chose to spend Christmas in North Dakota. There was no way I could go … for one thing, I wasn’t invited. I also couldn’t get the time off work, and I didn’t think it was the right thing for the kids. At that point, I hadn’t met either of them and I didn’t think they’d want a strange girlfriend hanging around when they hadn’t seen their dad in a year. So I stayed behind … que sera.

This year Steve is staying here, which should make me happy. And it does, but I can’t help feeling really, really bad that the fact that he’ll be with me means he won’t be with the kids. I feel selfish and childish … and even a little resentful that the whole mess means someone is missing out on something. Christmas really is for kids, and I cannot imagine what it is like to be separated from your own children at a time that otherwise is supposed to be so happy. I hope I don’t ever have to experience that, and I hate that Steve has to go through it. It just stinks.

Christmas is a time for home and traditions … for making memories. It’s not fair that no matter what happens, someone is upset. I hate it, and I hate worrying about it. So that statement about how I’m really looking forward to Christmas? Perhaps it’s not quite accurate.

Damn it, this post was supposed to be warm and happy. Maybe another time …

So I signed up on NaBloPoMo or something or other to write one post per day for the entire month of November.

And I couldn’t even make it past the first day.

 Sigh.

I’ve been a bit out of sorts this week … distracted, tired, apathetic. I just couldn’t seem to get motivated to do anything at all. I don’t know why. Just in one of those moods, I guess.

I’m gonna go take a nap.