Today started in a bad way. Everyone got out the door as intended and I then started to plan my day. At some point heading out to do my errands my mood darkened. As Judy Moody would put it, " I was in a mood, not a good mood but a BAD mood." Instead of thoughts of Christmas carols, gift giving, laughing with friends, my thoughts turned to moving. Moving involves phone calls, cleaning, mortgages, emails, coordination of events, inspections, and paper work. I could feel the happiness in my heart deflating.
I returned home and tried to shake it off. After all I had things to do. I started to wrap presents. I also started to cry. I put on one of my favorite Christmas CD's to cheer myself up. I cried harder. Eventually I called a friend who was able to talk me through it. The conversation started in upset and ended in laughter. Now that I gotten over that hump I had other things to do. The girls had a half day and we had cookies to bake!
I like to cook and I like to bake. At Christmas I have several types of cookies I try to make. One of these cookies are my Mother's Butter Cookies. Making these cookies are a tradition. When I was young I would help my mom make them. When I got older my sister and I would make them. I have many happy memories of rolling out dough and icing cookies with my sister. As time went on before I had kids, I would even make the cookies on my own. They quickly became a favorite of my husband. One year he even tricked me into doubling the recipe, I was rolling out cookies for hours! (He has not lived that down)
Now I have children and they "help" with making the cookies. In past years I have sometimes planned to bake the cookies later in the afternoon, I often found a glass of wine for mom made the process of rolling out cookies with young children go smoother. Now my children are old enough and interested enough to roll the dough themselves. They can work together to choose cookies cutter and take turns. Ahhhhhh so nice.
Of course they get tired of it about halfway through the dough, and the elder daughter was in a pre-teen mood at first and played with flour more than anything else. AND there is the small matter of giving the younger daughter advice about rolling the dough without making her cry and the older daughter choosing to ONLY or at least MOSTLY make the small snowman. She says it is because it is her favorite with his skinny neck. I say she likes him and his skinny neck because when we ice them his head will "fall" off and she gets to eat the cookie. (It is tradition and a family joke to eat the "broken" cookies as we ice them) I can guarantee my husband will walk in the door tonight, look at the cookies we made, point to one and say, "Oh to bad that one is broken." and pop it in his mouth.
So, tears and wrapping. done, cookies. done, on to the last of the holiday shopping. The girls and I head out to get something for their father. They have their heart set on getting him earrings. After I convince them that "Claire's" would NOT be the best place to find earrings for their father we end up at Kohl's. I figure if we strike out on earrings they will have SOMETHING. It also keeps me AWAY from the mall and the other more harried shopping areas.
In we go and look around at the jewelry and earrings. The girls get very excited when they see earrings they like. They are actually like ones that my younger daughter has already. "LOOK mom they have the spiky balls!" one says. Then the other, "Dad would LOVE these spiky balls!" "I think he would like these colors they agree." and then the older one says,"ohhh! dangly spiky balls - dad would like those!"
I am standing no more than a foot away. I am not sure how to respond. Their statements are full of innocence and sincerity, and I do not want to dampen their enthusiasm. BUT, I do gently steer them toward another rack. "Oh, look at these small starfish." I say, and "I like these small sparkly ones with birthstones." The younger was won over by my suggestions. They elder stuck to her guns. We made our purchase and went to the car. In the car the accolades about their choices goes on, "He will really like these dangly spiky balls." etc. It is that point that I start to laugh. I laugh so hard that tears come and I start to cry. And so that was my day, it started and ended with tears. At least it ended with the right kind of tears.