Puke through the ceiling. I am certain my family is alone in the category of puke through the ceiling on Christmas day. This is what happened. . . .
“Mom! He spilled a glass of water & it’s coming through the ceiling!” one of the kids hollered, as i’m eating my leg of lamb surrounded by extended family, Christmas music playing, a lovely day tucked in behind us.
But then i began thinking, realizing, “But. . . he didn’t have a glass of water. . . .”
oh. crap. ohhhhhhhhhhh, c.r.a.p.
(if you can see where this is going, you are getting our family drift these days.)
We had the stomach flu last week, 5 of the 6 non-infants here. We had one man standing. We thought we were in the clear. We gave the grands the go-ahead to come. We finished wrapping the gifts, we cooked the ribs & the lamb. Then the 4th kid went down in the afternoon Christmas day, yet everything was still on schedule for a truly lovely holiday. Quarantine the sicko, swab the doorknobs. Until the above exchange happened in which said child threw up from the top bunk upstairs onto the floor, bypassing all containment vessels. Which is gross enough. But when you’re house is a fixer-upper, there’s a slim chance the vomit coming down from the rafters will literally fall through the unfinished floor into the dining room below. During Christmas dinner.
& this, my friends, is how this season is going for us.
Also: we took a Christmas picture weeks ago, realizing afterward the rosy pink in the 4-year-old’s cheeks was actually blood smears after he fell & slammed his mouth on the floor, cleaning it up himself by rubbing his cheeks & arms with the drip. I missed the annual Christmas tree hunt, on the couch with mastitis & a fever. We skipped the Christmas parade, i gave up on getting a Christmas letter out, & this blog post is days later than i intended. & we literally forgot to get anything for the baby until late Christmas Eve (not that she needs anything, but still. Thank you, Walgreens’.)
but, there’s this.
You see, none of my foibles matter. i “failed” so much of what i’ve done in the past: making Christmas cookies with the kids, buying gifts for less fortunate kids, giving to a local charity, conjuring a rousing list of beautiful Christmas activities to do with the kids to make all the memories to insure all the happiness.
What Advent looked like this year was a whole lot of sitting on the couch watching Netflix under Christmas lights holding a baby. Bonus if we actually found a Christmas movie.
& this was the best Advent we’ve ever had.
When you have to let go of all the fancy just to keep the wheels on the cart, you realize how much of the fluff is unnecessary. How intentions are fine, but let them go & get on with it. How the whole season (life, actually) is about being present & tuning in to the people who matter. No one will remember what we ate for dinner, no one will remember if we went to 1 or 7 Christmas activities. But they will remember how we felt together, watching the snowflakes fall outside with Christmas pandora playing in the kitchen. (& i’m pretty sure they’ll remember the Christmas when puke rained through the ceiling from on high. if i wanted to make memories, well. done & done.)
So, though i love paper & pen & stamps & enevelopes, this year our Christmas card is not only not sent, it’s also late. Just like me, just like my life right now.
& though it may look like failure, it absolutely isn’t.
we’re absolutely, 100% fine. just like always.
(notice the slight pink in the 4-year-old cheeks.)
Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without His unfolding grace. ~2 Cor 4:16
That is the Truth i’m holding onto with both hands this season.