Tag Archives: Santa

Shortlisted

20 Dec

A few weeks ago, my littles participated in our small-town parade. My husband had to work so I was by myself, ready to record every second of the smiling goodness on my phone for him, for prosperity, and for Facebook 😊. Getting there early, I set up my folding chair on the empty sidewalk, sipped my (as skinny as they can make it) peppermint mocha, and watched as the path around me quickly filled with other littles and their families. Everyone was ready to see Santa!

Before I go on, I need to say a few things. This story isn’t one of judgment. In fact, I almost didn’t write it because I don’t want it to be misinterpreted. However, I made a pact with God this year that if he puts something on my heart to write, I’ll do it. Even when it’s uncomfortable or even when it could be misinterpreted. I thought about writing this story moments after the parade, then tossed it out the window. It woke me up at six am this morning….and well, here we are.

Reminder: No judgment, just observation.

The sidewalks are filling up, our folding chairs are nearly touching those of others.  Covid six-foot rules don’t apply on limited, parade viewing pathways in the South.  I’ve noticed a little girl two families down from me.  She is maybe four and she is so stinking cute, dressed in her adorable Christmas outfit. Her white-blonde hair is pulled up in a ponytail, where the ribbons bounce when she talks.  

She caught my eye again because she is now stomping her tiny rhinestone tennis shoes, and is doing something between a shout and a whine into her mother’s face “I have to GOOOOOO.” Her hands trying to stop the flow and her legs are crossed. Her mom, yells “OKAY…OKAY…Then let’s gooo.” She shouts back shoving her hands on the armrest to push herself to her feet….Her response is angered. I now realize that I’ve heard the child asking to go to the bathroom a few times over the course of the last half-hour, but I’ve dismissed it like much of the other conversation around me. The mom doesn’t want to leave her friends that have joined her. She has been chatting and laughing since they arrived. She waved a few folks over from the opposite side and had us all slide down a little to accommodate. She was excited to experience this moment of Christmas together.

The mom snatches the blond child’s hand and pulls her across the street to Starbucks to use their facilities. She is back in what seems like only seconds. Her friend, enthusiastically says “THAT WAS QUICK!” To which the mom replies

No. I have to get my keys. She wet her pants.

Crestfallen. The little girl is standing there looking at people she loves, and people she doesn’t even know. Ashamed. Her eyes are pointed at her shoes. 

My heart breaks.

My first thought…and I nearly said it out loud before catching myself… “SHE TOLD YOU. SHE TOLD YOU SHE HAD TO GO POTTY.”

But my heart tugged again. I remember those days. I remember being a new momma. Ragged, tired. Trying my best. I remember getting so lost in doing unimportant things, that I forgot to focus on my real job. My most important job. The one where I’m not replaceable. The “being” of a mom.

The truth is, not a parent on the planet can say that they have all been fully present ALL the time. It’s so easy to become distracted with nonsense. With our phones, friends, work, t.v., football, housework, chores, social media, stress, parades..…it feels like the list never gets shorter. What I wish I would have known back then, is that none of that other stuff matters. Unraveling yourself at both ends isn’t helping anyone, least of all you.

This momma was no different. It was obvious this beautiful child was well-loved. There was simply nothing to indicate otherwise. I can only imagine that momma had planned for weeks to take her little to the parade, picked out her perfect Christmas outfit, and told her all morning how much fun they would have while doing her hair. Maybe they even sang Christmas carols on the way there. She wanted to create sweet memories. She had the best of intentions…Then life happened.

As I reflect on the Christmas season and the upcoming new year, I’ve decided to use this time to get better at sinking in. To be fully present, immersed in the moment. I encourage you, friend, to do the same. Sit. Hold hands. Look into your children’s eyes. Fall in love again with your spouse. Listen to your parents’ (and grandparents’) stories. Play.

Sift through life and toss out the things that no longer serve your purpose.  Your purpose is where you find your passion. For me, I’m deeply passionate about my family. I don’t want to miss a moment. Find those important things and hold on tight. Handcuff yourself to them and settle in. Let them fill your heart with joy.  What I know for sure, is that joy is what carries you through when life gets twisted. 

We don’t always get it right. The list of distractions never gets shorter. But your list of priorities can.

Create your shortlist and stick to it.

Sharing this message with you, friend, because I needed it too. No judgment. No mom shaming. Just observation.

I’m coming for you 2022. 

XoXo,

Lady Chats A Lot

Recurring Dream

22 Dec

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Lately, I’ve been having a recurring dream…

I’m being chased by a man in red suit….velvet and fur-lined.

Funny thing is, I think the same thing may have happened last year. I wonder if it is the pie I’ve been eating…a turkey allergy, maybe?

Gluten?

I really should be able to out run him. He’s a little over weight…and a smidge older than me. But man, is he QUICK. Faster than you would think….

Nipping on my heels, waking my slumber with the booming of his voice.

HO..HOO…Hooo…

Taunting with his winks and pointed fingers….

Man, I don’t  e.v.e.n …know.YOU.

Quit calling me names.

They profiled someone on the news last week who looks similar. Hard to tell with that beard….Could it be? They think he is responsible for multiple neighborhood break ins… A little delusional they said….

This guy..this guy carries a sack…Like a big mamma jamma one. He could fit some stuff in there.

Looking over my shoulder, I realize he is closer than before. We are almost face to face now….

And then I wake…

Santa ?

24 Nov

santa

  • “You DO believe in Santa, don’t you?”
  •  “Uhhh, yeah.” – says the 9 year old, with a quick glance to the adult in the room – me.

This is the interaction between my 11 year old, T ,and his friend down the street. T proceeds to explain that he received a dog a few years ago from Santa. (The world’s worst dog ever, by the way. But that is another story.) His mom (me) did not want him to have one and there is no way…NO WAY…she would have allowed it. Santa MUST have brought him his beloved pet.

He is eleven…and he wholeheartedly believes in the old man in the red suit. No, he doesn’t trust the mall Santas. They lost power over him some years ago. But he does believe he can ask Santa for the most expensive item on his list, and he will deliver. My husband and I are starting to get concerned…I mean he is in middle school for Pete’s sake…

Well meaning friends, with their heads tilted in kindness, and a slightly higher pitched voice, will say to us “maybe he really doesn’t believe and is just making you think he does.”   It is as if they are telling us something we have neglected to think about..not wanting to let us down, or break our heart…….

No…he believes…wholeheartedly….REALLY…

Last year T came home and said, “Some kids at school are saying that Santa isn’t real.”   Thinking it was time to have the big discussion, I responded,  “Oh yeah? What did you think about that?”    T, very matter of factly said, “I told them, there is NO WAY my mom would get up in the middle of the night to shop. Santa is real!”

  • Well he’s right about the getting up in the middle of the night thing…once I’m in bed, I’m in…unless someone is vomiting or the house is on fire. I refuse to get up for any other reason. Have a bad dream? I’ll squish over so you can crawl in too..We will chat about it in the morning….

Trust me, we are not in a rush to lose the magic of Christmas in our house. He is our last believer and while we held tight for a while, we wonder if we are doing him any favors by allowing it to continue. Will he still believe in Santa when he goes into high school ?? oyyy -veeyyy!

Yet the other part of us knows the reality of what it means when he does stop believing.  Christmas eve and morning will change forever. The wind will be out of his sails. The excitement gone….

So, from now until Christmas morning , my husband and I  will move like spies hiding the secrets of the universe. It is in fact, the only secret we allow in our home… and we eagerly participate in it. We will talk in whispers behind closed doors, sneaking around,  hiding gifts in undisclosed locations, and going to extremes to keep the innocence alive one more year.

I’ll let you know if he still believes next year….

santa don't stop

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