Was there a worst Christmas than this one? Hmmmm…….
- When my sister died and we buried her on my Mom’s birthday Dec 20. Yeah, that was a bad one.
- The many Christmases before that spent in the pediatric cancer wards. Yep, those were tough.
- First Christmas right before divorce. Horrible.
- First Christmas after divorce. Horrible part 2.
- The next 8 Christmases hung over. Those all sucked.
- This one.
So, in perspective. Not the worst by far. But at 5:30 am when you yell at your kid “FINE! YOU RUINED CHRISTMAS!” and climb into bed crying, well……it feels like the worst one ever.
Had I been hungover, this wouldn’t have happened. I would have felt too terrible to care about anything else. I would have let the nasty teenage entitled attitude slide. Instead I had a melt down. And a Christmas morning meltdown is hard to keep secret. Any other day, I would have snuck off and cried alone with my kids never knowing. I would have blamed the hangover, or lack of sleep, or stress of the season. I would have internalized it and made myself feel like a bad mom.
The 18 year old, brought me chocolate (which the dog stole & ate while I was crying in my pillow). Then he made his brother come in and try to get us to work it out. After I calmed down, I told him to shower. I showered. Then I told the boys we are having a DO-OVER. I sent them back to bed while I made a fresh cup of coffee. Then I went upstairs and ‘woke’ them up saying ‘SANTA CAME LAST NIGHT’. We all came down together and proceeded with Christmas as usual.
I have an emotional hangover and I’m very tender, but things smoothed over. Everyone is kind of on eggshells but the epicenter of the conflict has been diverted to another day. (There is a back story on why my stress erupted – that is for a different blog post. Let’s just say that this amount of stress is appropriate for the problem.)
If I had a Christmas replay?
- Scenario A – I would be hungover and trying to hold it together. Kids would be blissfully unaware and much happier than they currently are.
- Scenario B – Sober and not holding it together. Kids are okay, had some Christmas Joy wind knocked out of them, but relatively normal.
- Scenario C – A perfect Christmas. Everyone’s wishes come true.
I would like to go with C. But in real life, compared to my Christmases past and Scenario A, I guess I will settle for a “B”.