Last Saturday was not our favorite day. We woke up excited to drive our children up into the mountains to play in the snow and cut down an evergreen tree for Christmas. We adore this tradition and love making it a part of their childhood. But the boys were cranky and disrespectful and it felt like all morning they were yelling at us or each other. We almost called the outing off about 42 times. (What is the point of doing something like that for your kids when they're acting so ungrateful?) Thankfully, the outing was enjoyable. We were grateful that Taylor is strong as a Clydesdale and the boys loved 'rescuing baby' trees that had been covered in snow. Of course by the evening they were pitching fits again, and we couldn't get them into bed fast enough. We went to bed exhausted, wondering why parenting is so gosh darn hard.
Like the brightest ray of sunshine, Sunday was a completely different day. Our children sat quietly in church and went merrily off to their Sunday school classes. We spent the afternoon at home together--a welcome respite as many of our Sundays are crammed with meetings (Taylor and I lead the youth group in our congregation) or family gatherings. We snacked on 7-layer bean dip and listened to Christmas music, decorated our Christmas tree and began preparing latkes for dinner.
All day long Blaine's behavior was so saccharine that all Taylor and I could do was look at each other with raised eyebrows. Gone was our arguing, willful boy of Saturday. Here, in all his splendor, was a boy that could not stop smiling about our sparkling ornaments, a boy who could not be more excited about reading of Jesus' birth.
Roger exclaimed, "Ooo, dat's sparkleful!" as he gazed at the tree. Then he hopped like a bunny around the living room for two hours solid.
Blaine said things like, "Rog, could you please pass me that ornament hook?" and "Rog, would you like to do this one?" and, when I fixed a broken ornament, "Oh, Mom, you always know what to do!" and "What would Christmas be without trees and Jesus?"
Every word was sweet and thoughtful, every embrace tender. After a candlelight dinner of latkes, sour cream, and applesauce, chased with peppermint hot chocolate, it was off to bed and all smiles. It was, sincerely, the perfect day.
Then I spent much of last night up with a child who proceeded to melt down much of today. Both boys were ornery, impatient, and impolite. As I sat and folded laundry this evening, all I could do was sob. Partly out of exhaustion, partly our of frustration, and partly out of gratitude--gratitude that God gave me Sunday. It was a glimpse of what all of this is for--harmony and fun and respect and love in a family. It was sparkleful.
I think if we didn't have days or even moments like that, we'd all want to throw in the towel sometimes. But, thanks to those glimpses, we push forward, looking for more sparkle.
Also this: Remember, the Seedpod giveaway(below) is still open!
And this: Today's your last chance to email us pics for tomorrow's Christmas show-n-tell!
aplacetobloom AT gmail DOT com