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whistlerIt has been FAR too long since I’ve shared the thoughts in my head.   I am sure that the reason I have been wide awake from 2 – 5 a.m. is the small novelettes that are swirling through my cerebrum. Life has been hectic and so I do apologize to my own self and my regular readers for not unloading my brain onto the pages of WordPress.

I have been relaxing in Whistler BC the past few days and am enjoying watching my three ski bums wear themselves out, appreciating the breathtaking views, taking cleansing breaths of crisp frozen air, eating and drinking far too much and removing myself from the chaos of pre-holiday madness.

A quick synopsis from the past two weeks: One part time working mother trying to organize and finalize all the traditions that SHE feels obligated to continue. Since this ski trip involves five days of off-site eating and we return on Christmas Eve this also includes list making, food shopping at several different grocery stores and complete organizational packing and pantry stocking. I blame only myself for this stress – the prodigal sons would survive off granola and top ramen and my Usually Lovely Husband is kind enough to eat whatever is around as long as we are well stocked on wine. I try to beat back my Martha Stewart gene, but I truly can’t stand eating prepackaged food or crappy instant things and I personally enjoy sitting around the table with my family so we tend to eat well on vacations where I have a kitchen to knock around in. Green curry chicken, Pad Thai, risotto, and on Seahawks Sunday BBQ Chicken Fingers and Sweet Potato fries were on this weeks menu. Easy to throw together but preplanning and shopping required.

I am going to skip the elongated discourse of how my elderly four legged best friend fell down the stairs the day before we left and the ensuing anxiety of hours at the vet and the 150+ daily text messages with my dog sitter to keep abreast of his condition while we have family time without him. I attempted to write a blog about this a couple days ago and the one ply tissues in this condo were too ineffective to continue.

Leaving for five days right before Christmas Eve also means that all presents must be purchased, wrapped and labeled for hasty Christmas tree distribution on Christmas Eve when we return.   As the default parent for shopping and eating – this duty pretty much falls on my small sized shoulders and I would not have it any other way.   This does not mean I don’t blow a gasket somewhere along the way since I feel everything must be perfect and all traditions and things that lit up my small sons’ eyes on Christmas Day in the past must be preserved. Thankfully all three of my men humor me in this and pretend to still be excited about unwrapping underpants from Rudolph and finding footprints in the ashes of the fireplace Christmas morning. Apparently I am not the only one who has specific standard traditions that make Christmas complete however; last year I actually had the audacity to suggest that I cook something different than salmon with spicy wine sauce and lemon bowtie noodles for Christmas Eve dinner and both of the offspring nearly had heart failure. Since my men children have been wee – we have dressed up on Christmas Eve, had a formal dinner and given our gifts to each other. Santa comes in the night (of course) and Christmas morning is for stockings and Santa Claus magic.

I still laugh about being somewhat looped from a fabulous bottle of wine (or two) enjoyed with Christmas Eve dinner when our oldest prodigy was two and had been safely tucked into bed in his new footie pajamas. (Complete tangent: another Christmas tradition learned from my sister. Always give new pajamas as gifts on Christmas Eve so that the Christmas morning photos don’t feature faded and torn jammies. However, be sure to prewash them as the one year I forgot to launder them my youngest son woke up Christmas morning with a rash from head to toe and spent the day miserably itching.)

LITTLE-TIKES-SLIDE-ACTIVITY-CUBE-GARDEN-20140418003213Anyway, two year old tucked in footie pajamas. Two tipsy parents attempting to put together apartment sized plastic slide and playhouse until 3:00 a.m.   Two year old wakes up at 7:00 a.m. and squeals and clambers all over new magical play set’s packing box for several hours while parents sip coffee and take Advil. The Magic of Christmas indeed.

Fast forward 20 years – now my two adorable babies are shaving and wearing size 11 shoes. Their smell no longer elicits memories of Johnson’s Baby Powder. We take ski trips where they check out girls in bars and my oldest saunters to the market and purchases his own beer. I miss the delighted laughter of little boys finding their Christmas cookies missing and racing to the window to look for signs of reindeer hooves, but I treasure the incredible young men who pick me up and swing me around when they hug me, discuss current events with heated opinions, and make me laugh out loud with their bawdy humor.

The_Polar_ExpressI was reveling in mommy emotions of time spent with my family last night. The boys had spent the day skiing like banshees and re-discovering their sibling connection. My U.L.H. and I had walked the village in the snow and searched through bars for the perfect Irish coffee. My family was around me and my Mom was smiling from the stars. We watched the Polar Express movie together, did a little dancing to mutually agreed upon current music, had dinner together with no electronic diversions, and laughed hysterically playing dominos and Crimes Against Humanity.  The evening was magical and I was feeling peaceful and grateful.

The prodigal sons were still up tweeting and farting and doing what boys do as Ma in her kerchief and Pa in his cap settled down for a long winter’s nap.   My U.L.H. was exhausted from skiing and I was still catching up on zero sleep prior to our mini vacation and feeling all warm and cozy about another family bonding evening, so we were out like a light within seconds. Suddenly the door to our bedroom burst open and the blond bombshell sixteen year old screamed, “Dad! Help! Our toilet is overflowing and it’s bad in there!”

ToiletRun03-274x289My U.L.H. leapt from bed like an agile reindeer and all hell proceeded to break loose. I wriggled down a little under the covers in the hopes that I could pretend nothing was happening, but the profanity stream emanating from the other side of the condo was hardly in keeping with the “spirit of the season” so I cautiously tip toed out of our bedroom.  Splashing sounds could be heard and the yell of “For Christ’s sake, I don’t need a coffee mug, I need a bucket!”  I glimpsed offspring #2 racing from the kitchen with a loaf pan in his hands and beat a hasty retreat back into my own bedroom, found every available towel and piled them neatly into a tower outside my bedroom door before closing the door. I may be the default parent for eating and domesticity, but my U.L.H. is clearly the default parent for plumbing emergencies.

“No need to get involved”, I thought wisely to myself. This decision was definitively confirmed when my youngest popped his head in the door asking if I had any more towels and his response to my question of whether or not I needed to call Housekeeping was “No. We just both took really huge poops.”

This was definitely a male situation.

Trying to hold on to my warm and fuzzy family evening, I snuggled down in the King size bed and watched the snow falling outside.   Sometime later my U.L.H. stomped in with his pants rolled up to his knees muttering and cursing and ranting about why we had children instead of just buying a boat. I tried valiantly to be supportive and not laugh out loud at his damp ankles and inquired again if I needed to call Housekeeping.(my response to everything, even when in my own domicile.) He stopped in his march into our shower only long enough to retort, “No – apparently the thought of picking up the plunger next to the toilet did not occur to anyone until there was two inches of water on the ground.”

I only let loose my raucous laughter after I was assured the sound of the shower would drown out my guffaws and thankfully managed to compose myself back into serene tranquility by the time he returned. I was completely sincere when I asked if everything was copasetic now.

Thus, another magical Christmas moment that will remain in the annals of our family memories.   The funniest part is – I’ll treasure this one too. Perhaps over time my Usually Lovely Husband will even find a tidbit of humor when we reminisce about family togetherness during Christmas of 2014.

I hope you are finding your own magical moments this holiday season.