I've spent the last week in holiday overdrive, giving it my all to make up for lost time. I started with cards, finished the shopping, did the mailing, and am now making a last ditch effort to celebrate what's left of the season with the Cracker. Friday night I declared "fuck bedtime! Let's decorate the tree!" Saturday and Sunday I provided support as the Cracker painstakingly hand painted 24 double-sided ornaments for friends and family. Monday morning we wrapped and tagged them. After that we started an art memory book for my parents. He finger painted, watercolored, cut and pasted, rubber stamped, collaged, journaled, illustrated with pens and crayons, and then covered every square inch of it all with glitter glue. After 6 long hours, just as the Cracker was dreaming up a colored sand mural, I declared craft day over. I hauled ass down to Walgreens, in the dark, in the snow, where I learned that 1 hour prints that were due to be done 5 hours ago were not done, because the machine was broken, has been broken, and will be broken indefinitely. Fuck me. Tomorrow, I will try deal with getting the photos printed elsewhere so we can finish the book, and then move on to decorating gingerbread houses. I also hope to get an assload of laundry done as we plan to spend Christmas with the in-laws in Colorado, which is like two days from now. Ha!
More than one good friend has told me that I don't need to do this, more or less that I shouldn't because I need to give myself a break. What they don't understand is that I have to do this, and that I did take a break, and now it's time to rejoin the world. There will be more breaks later, but not this week. I have this amazing 5 year old who has been really good this year, who doesn't yet understand why his mom has been so off the ball lately, who is beyond excited about Christmas just like every 5 year old should be, who is about to have his whole world shattered just as soon as J and I can get together one evening after the kids are asleep and outline the discussion, make sure to list the key points, and prep for his questions, this discussion I hope to have after Christmas but before school starts but not at the in-law's.
In other news, Ollie is non-traditionally crawling. It very closely resembles traditional crawling...but it's not. Also in other news, Ollie *loves* shoes. No, really, little girlfriend *really*super*duper*hearts* shoes, and laces have nothing to do with it. While we've known about her shoe fetish for quite some time, it seems to be surpassing cute and heading for the unknown. Over the weekend Jason set her down in her room and she shot off in the opposite direction like an arrow with an obvious purpose in mind. "What's she doing?" "Looking for shoes." "No, really." "Watch." Shoooooz! Tonight when Jason got home from work he absent mindedly kicked off his shoes in the kitchen and got to work. Ollie saw his shoes, squealed in pure delight, and hauled ass like he'd never seen. A minute later, from the other side of the house I heard the most pissed off shriek ever heard in the history of the world followed by lots of screaming. "What did you do to her?" "I took my shoes back when she started to lick the undersides." "Oh, okay then."
My mom is making plans that include her not being here next holiday season, at least if in body not in mind. It's hard. We've talked about next year's holiday cards, and how I will make sure everyone knows why she is not sending them herself. I cry as quietly as I can on the other end of the phone. Slowly she is letting the people she cares about know, but there are so many old Vietnam-era Navy friends, etc, that they have not seen in years and never plan on seeing again, with whom they still exchange holiday wishes. Those are the people who will need to know.
I have been slowly telling my own friends, and asking the friends who I am in the most frequent contact with to spread the word to other good friends. I just cannot keep telling the same story over and over. Talk about it? Yes, sometimes I need to pour my heart out. But start from scratch? No no no no no no. It's just too much. There is another issue: I suspect one or two people, who are less friends and more acquaintances, that heard it through the grapevine, are people that I need to part ways with. They seem less interested in us, and more interested in having a front row seat for the inevitable train wreck. Thanks, but no thanks.
I am lucky to have some really wonderful friends. A card, an e-mail that says I'm thinking of you, those are the things that count right now. And the funny things they are doing to make me smile, like posting "Have you seen my underwear?" on my FB wall. But the phone won't stop ringing, and it makes me want to take a really big hammer to it Office Space style. Occasionally it's people I want to talk to, but most of the time it's not. The phone needs to shut the fuck up. We used to have caller ID, but canceled it as almost everyone was "unknown." I suspect that all these years later it's even worse. But if it's not, sign me up.
Tonight my mom reiterated that my dad is having a really hard time. Then she proceeded to tell me that he has decided he doesn't want her things around once she is gone. That I can have what I want, that she's shown him where all her jewelry is, what family heirlooms she wants to see stay in the family, etc, but that he is going to want it out of the house quickly, so that he isn't constantly surrounded by her. It's not that I think this is wrong, but I do think he may regret it later. It's also that I cannot even imagine taking this step right now -- please don't ask me to. It's all too fast. I hope he changes his mind.