Last night, after a VERY long meeting (all day) in the office, I returned home to:
The husband wandering around the kitchen - wondering what to make for dinner
The brunette laying in her cozy bed amongst her eleventy nine hundred pillows - facebooking
The blonde - working on MY computer
The dog - wagging his tail like he'd found his long lost friend
The house was a mess. None of the daily chores had been done - as I had left the house at 6:30 a.m. and it was now 6:00 p.m. And you know what? I didn't care! I just felt this huge sense of relief to be HOME. I quickly changed into my jammies and a sweater and we threw together some tomato soup and grilled cheese and gathered around the kitchen table to eat and chat. Our nightly routine. Eating dinner at the table with the kids has been something we've always incorporated into our lives. It's only a rare occasion when we don't do this. We tested the blonde on her upcoming spelling words. Then the brunette named all the bones in the body for her anatomy test. Then I showed off my knowledge of human anatomy by breaking out in a rendition of "Head & Shoulders, Knees & Toes (knees & toes)." The brunette wasn't outwardly amused -but I know deep down she really was! I especially loved the part where the brunette got to her elbow and paused, "what is this called?" And the blonde offered her assistance, "It's an ELBOW."
Of course it is.
Then we piled onto the couches and watched "The Sing Off" - what a great display of unadulterated talent! It's such a treat to trip across shows like this. Anyway - as I padded around the house in my slippers - I felt so.... at ease. So comfortable and content. Maybe it was the two glasses of wine. The bottle did say "RELAX" on it - and that I was. Regardless, I looked around and the house wasn't crammed full of the normal overload on Christmas decorations - there are a few in each room - just enough to make the house look festive - but not the usual "every inch is decorated Christmas" chaos going on. It feels good. To not be crowded out by the masses of decorations. And it feels good to be able to work from home and enjoy the decorations and tree and Christmas music all day, every day. I missed that yesterday while I was at the office. And it hit me...
Had I always been forcing the Christmas spirit because I felt left out or that I had abandoned my family unit by trudging into an office each day? Is THAT why I over-decorated the house? The brunette doesn't seem to think we have enough decorations out. But I feel the spirit more than I have in years past - when I would have 2-3 hours a day in my home - and it was spent in a flurry of activity trying to prepare for the holidays. Cussing the Santas that were in my way. Constantly rearranging the shit so I could move. Never smiling. Rushing to get it all done. But not this year. I can move. I can breathe. Christmas music blares out from every electronic in the house - from every room. We're lying around together - watching TV. Or the other night I was working in my office and the girls joined me in that room and studied while I worked - Christmas music accompanying our efforts. There hasn't been any yelling. Or any sense of rushing. And I hear the sound of my daughters' voices singing Christmas songs as they move about the house. I don't recall hearing them sing in prior years. Was I not listening? Or were they not singing?
I have actually taken the time, during the day, to stand at the tree and admire each and every ornament. Remembering (or attempting to remember) which child it was given to and when. Some are labeled. Most are not. Thinking about where our lives were then and where they are now. And thinking how the blonde's life is so different than the older two's lives.
Last year we had so much snow at Christmas. SO MUCH SNOW. And we were all a little perplexed as plans continued to get canceled - sitting around - staring at each other - wondering what we should do to pass the time now that our plans had changed. This year I'm actually a tad saddened that we haven't had that snow - the type that leaves you stuck at home - just so we can sit - alone - just us - and play and relax. I hope we get that when the Prodigal Son comes home for Christmas Break. I hope if we do, he'll come out of his cave and join us for our fun. I'm ready! I've ordered movies and games and stocked up the pantry with baking supplies.
And I'm so very very thankful for the gift of ROWE - being able to work when I want from where I want. The gift of MY TIME has been one of the greatest blessings ever. And has forever changed my life. And hopefully the lives of my family members- who spent so many years with me absent during this time of year because I had to get food on the table. Now. I'm still providing. But in many many ways - not just financially. It's the greatest feeling to have your cake and eat it too!!