Celebrating in the middle of the mess

This whole month, I am learning.

That sentence sounds a little bit like a tense error sentence that I would find in from one of my Russian speakers, but it is accurate.

Now that the big day has passed and I am exhaling a little  I can say that the mess of our days has not overcome us.  In brief, the joy robbers threatened mightily, but in the end they lost.

What is the mess?  Oh you know the mess, imagine it for yourself;  family problems, mean people without boundaries, money (or the lack),  old hurts and of course a few house falling apart problems just to keep it interesting, c’mon… nothing new.  Yawn.  I don’t even get interesting problems, just messy ones.

When I shared my mess in its complexity with an acquaintance (thought she might be a friend?), when the mess was new and I hadn’t learned the degree to which no one wants to hear about it, her only comment was “Glad I don’t have to deal with that,” ouch.

But then she got her own mess.

And as J put it, after he was done punching things and yelling words we hoped our daughter slumbered soundly through, that we should remember how much good we enjoy.  Our kids, our jobs, our marriage intact, the sun on the holiday, the snuggles and stories, the hysterical giggles, the wagon rides with big blue eyes bundled up with a smile, the back rubs and the meals, the conversations that end with “I love you” and working together to make the Christmas gifts.

We have something worth a lot more. This year I start to do something new to me.  I am teaching my little miss what this whole Christmas thing is, anyway.  I can’t pretend I know what I am doing.  I told her for all December we were celebrating Advent.  We read books, made cards, watched The Nativity Story and a raft of other specials.  But the best times were listening to her read me the stories, and seeing just how much at the tender age of 4, how much she already had taken in.  When she did that, any concern that she might not get it went away.  She just looked at the pictures, and they told her everything down to Bethlehem and Herod.  Not to mention her pointing to the terrorists in the Time magazine and in her child innocence saying “Look mom, Mary and Joseph!”

And so just tonight brings a feeling of relief, and joy.  Again, mess, you did not win.  You may cheat and play dirty, but you did not win.

Though let me say here and now, without our family, I am not sure I would be able to say any of this.  Thank you Doug, Roberta, Tricia and John.  And mom.


I did not pose this shot.  She just is this way.  Every bit.


The amazing squealing wagon.


Cute?  or Crazy?  Does it matter?  We’ll take her however.


I bet you’re wishin’ your babe had an octopus on their head.  What? You don’t?


The smallest part of our mess this season.  What is not visible is that half of the drywall in the ceiling will have to be replaced.  What you are seeing is the insulation from the attic and pieces of the ceiling now on the ground.


I guess I thought for a moment that it wasn’t so bad that it fell all over the car, until I had to drive around with this junk all over my car for several days because all the car washes were frozen and the pipe that burst was the one that one might use to wash a car.  Note the ice on the ground, that was water from the pipe that burst.

One Comment Add yours

  1. zhenya says:

    Enjoyed reading this post. Sorry for all the things that caused a mess; happy that you guys have a sense of humor and were able to focus on Advent despite it all. May this new year resolve these messes early on!!!

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