This time of year we get to see all the beautiful pics of our friends and families’ perfect families on perfect cards and perfect social media posts, and it makes us all feel perfectly insufficient. It just does. We’re so glad for them, but also worried for us. Are we getting it all wrong? Did we miss a series of memos telling us how to do this right?
I tried to take a family picture of us all in vests, and I was going to make a terrible mom pun about us being “invested” in family this year, but I couldn’t even get my freaking family to all look content and in the same direction for ONE DAMNED PICTURE. So, here I am, looking pretty. I haven’t any Christmas cards. Look for them in February, maybe. If I get my shit together. Don’t hold your breaths.
I’ve talked to some lovely loves lately who are struggling to get pregnant, and God, doesn’t it feel like the whole world is expecting this season? I know you’re wondering what’s wrong with you, and feeling guilty about not finding joy in the announcements of growing bellies of your high school friends, thinking how unfair it all is. Honey love, you’re right. It’s not fair. I feel you, I’ve been there. I’m a G4P2, meaning of my 4 pregnancies, 2 required medical assistance, 2 ended in loss, and 2 ended in kids who are ages 4 and 7 and still don’t sleep through the damned night. THIS IS FUCKING HARD. YOU’RE NOT DOING IT WRONG. How many of us have required help, a LOT of help, to get, and stay, pregnant? If we were all in the same room, you’d be amazed at the hands raised. You’re not alone.
What else? Is your marriage as complicated as mine? Cool! My marriage of sixteen years is intact, and for this I am proud and relieved, but also we’ve told each other to fuck off no fewer than seven times this blessed holy week of our Lord. We are running a small ice cream business together, and we’ve been licensed for 2 years and 4 months, which means….we’ve threatened spouse-ocide daily for 2 years and 4 months. We rotate optimism and terror, so one of us is always like, “You know when we sell this business to a giant corporation for ten million dollars, I think we should retire to Costa Rica!” and the other one is like, “There’s $9 in the checking account. Be quiet.”
Is parenting as ridiculously hard for you as it is for me? Cool!
The other day, my 4 y/o said, as I backed down my driveway in the mini van that I’ve been driving for 6 months, ‘GOOD JOB, MOMMY! YOU STILL HIT THE HOUSE, BUT IT’S GETTING BETTER!’
My 7 y/o told my in-laws today that U.A. stands for “UNCONTROLLABLE ANUS.”
I accidentally brushed my daughter’s teeth with my son’s toothbrush the other day and when they realized it, instead of being reasonable, I was all, “What? Like you could do better?! Parenting is hard! Sob.”
Cub scouts, I resent you. You require complex costuming and evening time punctuality. You’d better be building SO MUCH CHARACTER.
I didn’t get my daughter to her tap dance class this week because I was delivering ice cream too late, and so now any future failures in her life will fall solidly on my negligent shoulders.
Let’s see…what else? When I sell ice cream to a new store, I am hella awkward. Like the most awkward person who ever awkward-ed. I drop samples in the parking lot and they roll under my car, so I have to get down on all fours to retrieve them. I swear. I’m either weirdly loud and overly enthusiastic, or aloof and shy.
At least I have my health. Which, thank Baby Jesus, I do, despite myself.
I did a healthy eating/exercise commitment for the month of December. No cookies, candy, pop, french fries, or chips, and work out at least three times a week. Cool! I can do that!! And I TOTALLY did, except for Oreos. And cookie dough. And all other kinds of cookies. And hash browns, potato chips, tortilla chips, and so many french fries. Oh, and I also I exercised none times.
Do you remember when Violet Beauregarde blew up like a giant blueberry and had to be juiced in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? I want that. I’m three days into holiday eating and, if I could pierce a hole in my abdomen, the slow leak of air would take several days to fully escape. I’ve learned this lesson before. I cannot tolerate this amount of fatty, salty, rich, sugary things, but here I am again in the ‘well, I’m not absolutely stuffed, so yeah, I could eat!’ phase of holiday indulgence. Blerg. (U.A.)
Also, in the category of things I never learn…last night at a family holiday party, it came to the point in our excessive drinking where my cousin and I were demanding my dad pour us shots. My dad, older and wiser, having witnessed our moronory many times before, took his sweet time obliging, until my flee-sized attention span fell elsewhere. He saved me from a mean hangover, and possibly puking. I’m only 38 years-old, how am I expected to know my limit!? Thank God for people who love me enough to know how dumb I am. Here’s an injury I sustained while being overly competitive in the game of SPOONS (look it up, if you’re unfamiliar- it’s super fun and unskilled, and everyone bleeds).
Incidentally, this same cousin once led me, age 5-ish, to balance outside a railing on a porch that hung 20′ over a cement patio. Some day I’ll learn.
Narrator: no, she will not.
Anyway. Merry Holidays. Or, just holidays. In case you’re feeling alone, you’re not. You’re enough. So am I. Laugh about it if you possibly can. Love. Love. Love.