Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Blue Christmas

I am really not feeling like Christmas this year.  I keep thinking about last Christmas and how my uncle was here and healthy and we had so much fun.  He always slept over on Christmas Eve and we would stay up late talking and then he would ask us to wake him up when the girls got up; he enjoyed watching them open all their gifts.  We would sit over coffee for hours and then he would help Jason make a big meal.  I can't believe it won't be that way again.  Christmas is just something I want to get through this year.

We were really looking forward to Piper singing with the Rutgers Children's Choir this year.  She had rehearsed and prepared, we had plans to have a Christmas celebration with my parents and grandmother afterwards.  But then, at the rehearsal on Saturday morning, Piper felt sick; I tried to talk to her and thought maybe it was nerves.  But she vomited in a trash can and we brought her home.  She was up all night vomiting and missed the Sunday performance as well.  We missed our family dinner.

We usually give the girls a few small gifts and one BIG gift.  This year, that BIG present was going to be a puppy.  We tried. We adopted a puppy in the fall and another one last week and I was allergic to both.  I thought maybe it was all in my head--oh, those puppies are so cute! and we have had dogs for 16 years, and I knew I was allergic to some breeds, but thought I was okay with cairn terriers (we had two cairn terriers for 16 years) and we adopted adorable cairn terrier pups, but I was allergic to them.  We had to bring them back.  It was awful and tear-filled and heart breaking; those cute little buggers get into your heart so fast!  I went for allergy testing this week -praying that I would not be allergic--but the tests confirmed that I have a very severe allergy to cats and a moderate allergy to dogs.  I learned that with adult allergies they get worse over time--GREAT!--and maybe my allergy was not that bad 16 years ago when we got Sydney and Ollie and I was de-sensitized to them because they were in my environment; or I did start having symptoms at some point and didn't attribute them to the dogs.  Whatever it is, we can't get a puppy now.  Maybe at some point I will get acupuncture or NAET or we will try a Bichon or Poodle or Yorkie or Maltese, one of those breeds that have less dander, hair instead of fur and less allergens.  But right now, we are all heart-broken that we couldn't go back and get that puppy and we don't want to take the chance at falling in love to find out I am allergic once again.

And then there is the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut.  I can't even think about it for long because I get too upset about it.  My heart, my thoughts and prayers are with those families.  ALL of this--allergies to puppies and missed choir performances pale in comparison to what those families are going through.  I just keep praying for peace for them.  I found this list of 11 Ways You Can Help Newtown and the girls and I made snowflakes to send to Newtown and we are writing letters of condolence.

But, really, seriously, I just want to get through Christmas.

I feel bad about that.  I am a mom, I want my girls to enjoy Christmas.  They only get one childhood.  Christmas should be special when you are a kid.  But as I type those words, I realize that I feel guilty trying to enjoy myself.  I feel guilty that I can enjoy myself.  I want to share in the grief and sadness of those families in Newtown, maybe if I shoulder some of the grief, another mother will find a ray of sunshine, a glimmer of peace.

I am pretty sure I am not alone in feeling this way.

So, I am trying.  We had a nice Christmas dinner with my parents and grandmother on Monday.  I made my favorite Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride tea last night and watched "Christmas Angel" on Netflix with Jason and the girls.  We are going to make candles today with the little girl that Allie tutors.  The girls have both saved money and want to buy some gifts, so I am taking them shopping on Thursday.  We are walking with our homeschool group at 9:30am on Friday and then we have two Christmas parties to split our time between that evening.  Saturday we will spend time with my oldest friend (and her lovely family)--we have missed very few Christmases together in 40 years!  And Sunday we will head into the city as we have tickets to Radio City!

I may want to just get in bed and pull the covers over my head and have someone wake me up when it's 2013...but I am trying to find the positive among all these negatives.  I am trying to take it one minute at a time and find some joy in that minute.