As I sit curled up on my couch in my silent living room admiring the little colored lights twinkling on my beautifully decorated Christmas tree, I can’t help but reflect on the past year. I smile as Bing Crosby’s melodic voice softly fills the air and the scent of freshly baked gingerbread wafts in from my toasty kitchen signaling the commencement of the holiday season. While my kids are sleeping soundly in their beds, I’m sipping creamy eggnog from a crystal glass and taking a few minutes to write to you.
I suppose I should start by saying that the whole first paragraph is a big fat lie. I guess you already know that, huh? What with you being Santa and all. I mean, if you know when we’re sleeping and when we’re awake, then I guess you know that my kids aren’t sleeping soundly in their beds at all. One is passed out on the floor of the living room after throwing a tantrum because I wouldn’t let her eat the gingerbread ornaments she made 3 years ago. Another one is playing Xbox in his room, the sounds of gunfire coming through his closed door. Another couple kids are upstairs fighting about when Jesus was really born, and a couple others are running around the neighborhood playing football in the dark because they don’t understand what language I’m speaking when I say, “It’s time to come inside! And where the crap are your shoes anyway???”
There is no smell of gingerbread because I forgot to go to the store and buy molasses inciting the kids to start chanting, “You ruined Christmas, Mom!” My Christmas tree has 30 ornaments hung from one branch and is about to tip over. It looks like Christmas threw up in my house. A dozen boxes of decorations lay open, their contents spilled across my floors because my kids like to take everything out, but somehow run out of steam when it comes to the actual decorating and packing the empty boxes away. Oh and the “eggnog” I’m drinking from a crystal goblet is pretty much straight rum in a Tupperware container because it’s the only clean dish in the house at the moment. Don’t judge.
Santa, I’m sure you know that I try my best. I’m not a perfect parent. I lose my cool sometimes. I break down and cry now and then. Some days, I’m convinced that I just can’t handle everything one more day. I’ve gone as much as a week without cooking a decent dinner for my family. Sometimes I forget to check homework and sign planners. I haven’t had time to update my students’ grades a time or two. Occasionally I have so much laundry piled up that it’s probably a fire hazard. I’ve been known to take my kids to their football games without first checking that they have things like cleats and pants and helmets. Yeah, I’m that mom.
But still, I get up and do it every day. I try. And for that, I think I deserve a little something in my stocking. This year I’m asking for a new car. Or well, it’s doesn’t have to be new per se; just new for me. And preferably not held together by duct tape. Imagine my embarrassment when my date went to close my van door and the handle, which was duct-taped to the door, fell off in his hand. Oh yeah, and speaking of dates, could I get just one or two dates with a guy who isn’t a big lying liarpants? Perhaps a guy who doesn’t have a bunch of issues? Or well, at least not any more issues than I have?
I’d also like an extra dose of willpower because I’m getting really tired of losing these same 10 pounds again and again, quite frankly. If it isn’t asking too much, maybe you could arrange for my little ones to stop fighting over things like who gets to mix the Kool-Aid (I’m still cleaning that! Do you have any idea how far a gallon of grape Kool-Aid can fly? I do!) Oooo, maybe you could get me a maid to clean the random Kool-Aid spills that happen more often than you think.
And perhaps you can help my son to understand phrases like “Clean your room”, “Put away your laundry”, “Do your homework”, and “Stop hiding that plastic bug around the house or I’m going to have an actual heart attack and leave you an orphan.” Finally, perhaps we can have a family dinner once this year without the topic of poop coming up in conversation.
There are more things I’d like, but I don’t want to be greedy. I know there are a lot of deserving parents out there who are hoping for some goodies in their stockings this year. In fact, let me help you out there too, Santa. In case you don’t know what to get other parents, I have some suggestions. I ask that you bring the gift of happiness to other parents. I hope that parents everywhere will find enjoyment in their children this year. Please let parents get a glimpse of the world through their children’s eyes. If you can, please give parents the ability to see beyond the messes and the chaos to the brilliance that motivates those children to make the messes and create the chaos. Give parents the gift that lets them appreciate all those little things like sticky kisses, big hugs, artwork on whatever surface it appears, long rambling stories that don’t make any sense, gifts made out of PlayDough, and unconditional love. Hmmmm, maybe you better throw a nice bottle of booze in their stockings too. You know, just in case.
Thank you, Santa!
P.S. I promise not to eat all the cookies my kids leave you this year.
If you liked this, here are some more favorites from Dawn.