••• Wednesday, December 22, 2004

The Most Wonderful Time of The Year
Begins December 26.

One year ago today I posted the following:
My husband is a sweet, supportive guy. But he's a guy. He's outcome oriented and focuses primarily on the happy factor. He just wants everybody to be happy. To look happy. To express happy. He wants everybody to believe in happiness. Always.

Says He:
It's gonna be fine.
It's going great.
Every year Christmas turns out great.
What are you stressing about?
You're almost there.
You're fine.
We're fine.

Fine Schmine
I'm a process person. While I'm pretty sure that it's going to turn out fine, I am fully aware of what it entails to make fine happen. And I'm most painfully aware that it's all on me.

I'm sorry honey, pulling off a fine Christmas takes more than happy thoughts.

Pulling off a fine Christmas takes Thinking. A lot of Thinking. And Planning. And Coordinating. And Doing. And Coordination of the Doing. And Coordination of the Logistics of the outcome of the Doing (aka The Done). Then there's More Thinking. And a smidge of Worry about whether there needs to be more Thinking. :: 'Cause if you don't worry just a smidge, somethins' really gonna getcha. ::

So, yes, it's gonna be fine. But fine ain't being pulled out of a hat. It ain't magic, mister.

The Holiday Confessional
At my momma's knee, I learned about self-imposed holiday stress, pressure and incriminations. I learned about worrying and fussing and feeling responsible for the holiday joy and rapture of thousands.

Okay, hundreds.

Okay, 15 to 20.

And I learned that at some point, within 72 hours of a fine Christmas, there must be a meltdown of the mama variety.

At Christmas, my mother's unpleasant reality was foisted and blamed upon the most vulnerable and accessible; her children. This particular dynamic worsened after my father died. While I know she mourned him the most at this time, I also think that when alive, my father provided a ballast of sensibility for my mother.

Not that losing emotional control is ever a good thing (unless it's a fit of giggles, I guess), but I am happy to report that I have improved on my mother's holiday beast.

My beast is fair. She has no unwitting targets. My beast is an emotional bulimic instead of bully. She just blows affective chunks, then stomps around in the mess (and sometimes wonders about the chewing gum she swallowed 7 years ago). My beast mostly vents, without unfair implication.

My beast also gives plenty of notice. When she's about to hurl, folks mostly know to get out of the way and/or remember to empty the dishwasher without another reminder.

I know I could beat the beast down if I really tried. But I haven't tried and I'm not sure why. It's just the way it is, for now. It's a legacy. And it's mine.

And even though it was wrong (wrong and more wrong) for my mom to project her issues onto the innocent, I very much understand how she felt.

And even though I make a different choice; a better choice (not a perfect choice), I admit that I have faltered at that fork in the dendrite. I have peered down that darker synaptic alley. I saw that it's a dead end. I will not go there.

To Mom: I've seen that place. I understand. And in my heart of hearts, I know you'd do it all different, if given the chance.
This year is about the same, with the addition of a head full of snotberries and a special guest appearance by Perri Pausal and The Pre Minstral Screamers.

Oh yeah, and more bad knitting.

I made this scarf for my sister (her birthday is the 25th) out of the fat and juicy alpaca I bought from Elann. The yarn was purchased for another go round with the Knitty heart scarf from the October surprise but I didn’t like how that looked either.

For my sister’s scarf I went up a needle size from what was recommended on the yarn label, which apparently was not a good move. The resulting fabric appears to be what we called "nappy," back in my high school days. Or in this case, knappy. Or in another case, Crimson Dingleberries on a Yak’s Ass.

One knitting thing appears to be going right this week month year. This Knitty heart scarf out of Gedifra Micro Chic.

I bought the yarn from Yarn Express , in an impulsive gesture, before I realized the hoodie was not a goodie. I'd thought to use the Micro Chic as the fur. This stuff is really soft.

I’m hoping to get the scarf done in time for Christmas. A few days ago I decided I wasn’t going to get my holiday knitting done in time and was setting my knitting sights on New Year’s gifts. Unfortunately (or not, I guess) The Cakers spilled the beans to Nana that she’s getting a scarf. This pattern does knit up fast, so it’s doable. Then I’m done.

Big Balls
My son is a really good basketball player, with the bad/good luck of being on a team with two basketball phenoms (sophomores). He gets more playing time than he did last year, but not as much as we'd all like to see, of course. But I'm his momma.

Last night I went to the away game alone. And sat amidst strangers. Next to me was a couple who chatted constantly about the quality of plays and players and the coach's decisions.

After my boy was put back in the game for the third time, he made a couple of really good plays. The guy next to me says to his female "Who's that number 12? He's a great little player. They should play him more."

Before I could stop myself I said "That's my boy."

Suddenly, I felt like my mom. A woman who's told her life story to many the unwitting waitress, who made the critical error of sustained eye contact while taking her order.

I'm happy to say that I was able to beat down my inherent inclinations and refrained from sharing with these strangers, the glorious details of said progeny's remarkable birth and developmental achievements and how he once put a marble in his butt crack at day care, just for yucks.

My boy's name also got a mention on the 11:00 news, along with a video clip of a couple of his good plays. I suspect we'll be seeing a little more from this "great little player."

I gotta go. I have mouths to feed and gifts to wrap and hearts to knit.

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