The water seeped through the kitchen floor from the refrigerator water line to the ceiling of the basement and then flooded the floor. So the crews came in and did the same thing they did two years ago when we flooded. That time it was from the outside, and this time it came from INSIDE THE HOUSE.
The kids heard every single swear word and many that hadn’t even been invented yet.
Long story short, we are screwed. Our refrigerator has DOOMED US FOREVER.
So Friday was spent dealing with clean up and crews coming and insurance and the LOUDEST FANS AND DEHUMIDIFIERS ON THE PLANET everywhere in the basement and the kitchen. Meaning, we tried to be out of the house as much as possible this weekend. Each time we would leave my boy would say thankfully from the back seat, “Isn’t it nice to be away from those loud fans?”
Yes. Yes it was. In fact, I decided that while we were out and about the next few days I was going to look for reasons to be grateful no matter where we were or what we were doing. Even more so than usual. It started immediately. Someone shoveled for us. Several of our neighbors offered their help. Friends invited us over – an not just the kids – the grown ups too!
Friday night we ordered pizza while feeling defeated and sad, got everyone bathed and in pajamas and did advent calendars and took stock of all we have to be grateful for. As we do. But yeah, not happy about things.
I really wanted a drink. Or you know the old story, just to not to be so sober. But how much worse would that have been? I play the tape out, I know how this goes.
Putting on a brave face is a lot of work. And cozy is a privilege.
I got a text from a friend who recently moved to Detroit simply saying that we would be getting some sweet treats delivered shortly from GrubHub. I almost wept with gratitude. How thoughtful can someone be? In that small, incredibly kind gesture, she had made me really and truly snap out of the funk for a bit. How are people so loving and selfless?
I gotta be honest. I am not entirely in the spirit of Christmas. I mean, I’m not a religious person, so that doesn’t do it. I am a mom so I am inclined to do it up for my kids because I follow their lead. I want them to find their joy. It comes more in the form of activities and feelings than in presents and grand gestures. I am not the Pinterest Christmas mom – though I do look on in wonder at those of you who are.
My spirit is lacking. As with so many of us this year, it’s too much. I’m in no mood for parties or gatherings, but that’s just my make up most of the time. I get out of my comfort zone continually with these kids and for that I’m thankful. But sometimes, I just need to dive into my comfort zone and embrace it. Forced fun and gifts always makes me highly uncomfortable.
It’s ok to not be joyful about Christmas in all ways. It’s ok to find it in ways that seemingly many don’t. It’s ok to not find it at all. It’s ok to not be ok.
That GrubHub delivery was so simple but so well timed that it rocked my world. I gotta remember that. All the way from Detroit, she knew what would comfort me in Chicago. She’s a straight up angel in my book.
Our routine has been turned upside down with this wet house situation. With kids, it’s all about routine, right? I mean, they are highly adaptable, but anything out of the ordinary throws a loop into things. So the room we usually have our first thing in the morning frozen waffle in before second breakfast is the basement. The basement is where all the toys are. The basement is where the tent with all the stuffed animals are. Were.
I got a load of all the stuffed animals in the washer and dryer literally moments before the clean up crew had to disconnect the machines. Tell me that wasn’t some serious timing.
But now the tent is gone – it didn’t make it. Our angel Nikki gave the kids a new tee-pee for Christmas! Timing!
I am thankful that this will force me to go through all their toys in the basement and get rid of a bunch because it is past time and my motivation to do that project is nil. But when the guys came upstairs with seriously sad expressions saying, “We have one real casualty….” and handed me the Tickle Me Elmo, it was a moment. For the kids and I together. And the clean up crew knew too. It was a moment. And we took it.
We went to the mall on Saturday and played in the kids area and then later that day my husband went to the new Star Wars movie and the kids and I went to see Trolls again because I needed some gd hope and that movie does the trick. This time was even more fun because the kids know all the songs now and we all sang along.
We went to the lego store and got to pick out one tiny thing. I watched an older woman in a floor length fur coat walk up to the cashier with 5 of the most expensive Lego sets and purchase them and walk slowly to her car. There was something incredibly dignified about the way she was in and out and all serious business about it. I imagined her dropping those sets off at a toy drive somewhere on her way out. It could happen! I chatted in line with another twin mom who “had her hands full” and we laughed about some of the craziness together.
The mall was so enjoyable and beautifully decorated that the dude on the highway in the giant SUV with antlers and a wreath all aggressively up in my trunk behind us is ALMOST forgiven. MERRY CHRISTMAS MY DUDE.
My husband has done the heavy lifting of calling everyone that needs to be called and setting everything up and I occupy the kids and try to keep morale high. Now, I have plenty of perspective. I know that this is no big whoop in the grand scheme of things, but in our little world, it is a big cruddy deal.
But life goes on. The show must go on!
Sunday morning we went to Breakfast with Santa downtown on State Street with friends as we’ve done for three years now (YAY TRADITIONS!) and every time we stepped out in the bitter cold, we all were reminded of how good we have it.
I lost one of my favorite gloves downtown Saturday and when we got home my husband had already ordered me a new pair online for Christmas. He loves me so well. I said, “but what will I do in the meantime, I’ve given away all my other gloves to homeless people!” And I’ll keep right on doing that as often as I can.
Mrs. Claus gave the kids a little stuffed penguin and a little Rudolph and somehow the penguin fell in the toilet (slow motion NO NO NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO) at Macy’s and a major breakdown was imminent. My girl said, “don’t worry Gah, I will get you a new penguin for Christmas” and our other little friend we were with wanted him to know “It’s ok to feel sad sometimes and that hugs help”.
My husband and I went out shopping yesterday and left the kids with Nikki. We got to find some simple joy in buying things for our kids that we know they will really love. And we got to have lunch by ourselves and take our bounty back to our warm, now dry, home and be together.
Tempers were high the last few days. I don’t pretend we sailed through this gracefully. But I tried my best to find little things to be grateful for all along the way. And my husband is at the top of that list.
As we were shopping yesterday, I unconsciously thought, oh Baby Gum and Baby Mikey need new holiday pajamas as I found myself wandering the newborn baby clothing aisles. THE KIDS WERE NOT EVEN WITH US. I just did that all on my own. What in the world? Gratitude.
We came home and did baths and got in jammies after the baby dolls got in theirs and our kids performed The Sugar Plum Fairy and The Rat for us with full tutu action over jammies and what in the world could be better than that.
This morning they took out the GD FANS and we have some peace and quiet in our home. Can you even imagine living in a war zone? Perspective. We have many repairs yet and insurance nightmares to deal with but we will be ok. The most discomfort will be in our wallets and our rearranging our routines for a while, but we can do it. Remind me I said this, ok?
That this all happened right before Christmas is just more proof that we have everything we need and more. We don’t need presents and we don’t need more. We need gratitude for what we have and for all the intangibles.
I got to have dinner and a night out strolling and looking for unnecessary trinkets with my best girl last night. Luxuries. Not to be taken for granted. Reminiscing of how we’ve changed through the years and yet our friendship remains steadfast. Constant. There when we need it most.
A job that allows me so much vacation time and also time to deal with repairs (!!!) is a gift.
Constant reminders of all we have. I’m able to do laundry in my own home again. I’m able to hear myself think and hear my kids when they talk to me instead of telling them SAY IT LOUDER. We can sit in our living room and watch as many terrible children’s shows as we like and hear them perfectly. As my girl held my boy’s hand while he got his hair cut this morning in moral support, I heard her say, “It’s okay Gah, your sister is here” and I knew. This is the good stuff. And it far outweighs the bad. We are so fortunate.
We are at home in our home again after just a few days of uncomfortable madness. I am grateful. I am present. I am in the spirit of Christmas, even though it may not reek of it on the outside, my heart is where it needs to be. I am letting people love me and doing my best to feel worthy of that love and I am doing my best to love people where they are. I am so thankful for all the good (and the bad and the in between) and I am trying my best to do more and better as we move forward. We have much work to do!
And it all started with a rush of water followed up by a perfectly timed and executed Grub Hub delivery. Please feel free to pin my plan to find your own Christmas Spirit!
Happy Holidays everybody. May we be grateful for what we have and take a moment to grieve for what we’ve lost. Much love and light to you.
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