By the way, we finally made it the Christmas concert on the last night. Well, we made it to the concert venue. We were early, but still too late to get a seat. The entire building was full. We loaded back up in the car, stopped at Krispy Kreme, and went home. To quote Willona (you know--from Good Times) Ain't that a blip?
So, the semester has come to an end. Oddly, I feel envigorated. Don't get me wrong, now--I need this break. But I'm working on getting better. Being more effective. More open. There's no deep insight, but I think that something better might be on the horizon. As they say after the SuperBowl, next semester begins with an undefeated season. Yay.
So, here's something nobody tells you when you have children: It really, really sucks sometimes.
We planned this really nice evening, a tradition we've established of a Christmas carol concert at a nearby college. It's always wonderful and thrilling and my daughter positively loved it, even when she was a baby. She clapped her hands and got all excited. I was so looking forward to it. And I spent a ridiculous amoung of time choosing outfits. I had hoped that we could take our Christmas card picture while we were all in semi-matching holiday dress. And then.
I scurred around getting together a humble dinner for everyone so that we could eat quickly and get ready. The children came home and were slow to eat. It took serious cajoling to get them to finish their dinner, but I pulled them along, knowing that they would probably need a snack while we were out. Then, I dressed them. They wanted to watch a DVD instead of putting on their clothes. Consequently, I had to put my daughter's pants on twice because she kept saying that they were "wrong." Then I did her hair. But that was pointless because she then decided to do this weird thing she's been doing lately where she completely covers herself head-to-toe with a blanket. All of a sudden she jumps up, screaming because she can't get the blanket in whatever weird way she wants it. Her hair is now sticking up. Meanwhile, my son is amping up for his own spiral into madness. He spots the Barney DVD and decides that he must watch it RIGHT NOW. There's another movie in the portable DVD player already, but no matter--he wants to watch the other one. They take turns whining, screeching, and crying. Good times . . . .
After I finally throw their clothes on, I run upstairs to throw on my own clothes. But I can't find the tank I planned to wear. Whatever. I decide that, as usual, I'll just let go of my own need to look like an actual human being. I find something else and try to get everyone out the door. But they are not finished with me yet. There is more crying and screaming. By now the screaming is, somehow, coming from me, too. And dear husband is grinning like a crazy person because he's the only one in the house not losing his mind. Yeah, funny. Of course, this whole scenario probably is funny when you've spent the evening dressing yourself and feeding yourself. I used some bribing to get the children out the door, but in the car they are still disagreeing about which DVD to watch and still on the brink of more crying.
Ultimately, after all of that, we just decided not to go tonight. The concert plays for two more nights. We do have plans for both nights, but maybe we'll try to fit it in. I'm disappointed. My plans for a fabulous, warm and fuzzy evening were totally thwarted. Where are my jolly, holiday Christmas carols?
I should be grading papers. I know I should. I have two stacks at home and I will be getting four stacks of exams next week. Plus, since I have put off recording in-class assignments all semester, I'll have that to do as well. All so that I can average and post over 100 grades by the beginning of the week after next. But I don't want to.
Every semester, it's the same. By the end of the semester I have so much work to do and I end up staying up late but waking up early and feeling achiness in my shoulders and back and wishing that the break would get here already! But I do it to myself. I'm a procrastinator, plain and simple. Many times, procrastination works out for me, but never at the end of the semester. Like now, instead of posting, I should be grading.
I have this vision of myself sitting on my couch (my absolute favorite place), a cup of hot chocolate topped with whipped cream in hand, the fireplace blazing, the lights from the Christmas tree blinking in my peripheral vision, and a lovely Christmas movie on tv. It's an attainable vision. I know I can have that. If only I could get through these papers. . . .
I, too, am filled with hope. I'm not quite ready to fill in the details, but I just wanted to share how excited I am about this journey. I know that it is replete with worry; in fact, I recently had a particularly worrisome moment, but I just received confirmation that things are on track. In this post-Thanksgiving season, I am grateful that God is still there, listening and comforting, giving us the things we need AND the things we want.
Recent events in the world--the bombing in Mumbai, the death at a New York Wal-Mart, the declaration of America's economic recession--threaten to blight this holiday season and the hope that Obama's win had placed within me, but I'm glad, grateful, that God has reminded me that good things are still happening and I can still be hopeful.