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Three-out of four kid Christmas parties down, and it’s last-day eve. Did you hear me?! Last. Day. Eve. The night before the last day of school.
All of you pre-school & elementary moms out there know what that means. It’s basically the alarm bell for half-done Pinterest projects intended to delight or inflict the whole of our kids’ education sphere. Gifts for teacher? Principals? Coaches? Librarians? Classmates? How far you take it depends on the bevy of your free-time vs. the budget you have. How organized your are vs. how creative you are (if you’re both, please don’t tell me). How talented you are in the kitchen vs. your svelt-like ability to own the dollar-aisle and douse it’s contents in amazing celophane, ribbon and twine.
As I sit here, munching on the candy cane popcorn scored out of my three-year-old’s bag (Thank’s Bennett’s mom!), and waiting for my Keurig to churn out a Dunkin Donuts peppermint mocha, a thought occurs to me. We’ve all seen the posts about overachieving elves, and cautionary edicts about supermommery. And like most things in life, I take a bit of valid opinions, add salt if needed and spit out the gristly bones.
I’ll be the first one to admit to you that I flunk the supermom test. And that the elf is cleverly hidden by my husband 20-out of it’s 25-day shelf life. Sure, I’m guilty of showing off my highlight reel of kids and good times from time to time via social media to smokescreen the fact that I wear yoga pants and a cap to pre-school pickup, but don’t actually work out more than twice a month. It’s true. If I sat down to think about it, most of the moms I passed in the parking lot today with arms full of gifts were up with me at 1:30 am, praying to the baby Jesus we celebrate that they didn’t forget anyone.
Today, my three-year-old’s Christmas party was thrown by a genuine heroine. I know this, because after five minutes of threatening my two-year-old that I was going to lock him in our mini-van if he didn’t stop hiding behind the seat where he knows I can’t reach him (more on that some other time), I ran into her, holding three shopper totes, a giant roll of wrapping paper, a folding project board, 25 drink boxes and a baby bucket WITH A BABY IN IT!!!! She was dressed in all white and camel, with perfect blonde hair, and the most amazing red leather platform shoes I’ve ever seen. I could barely relieve her of the Yoohoos with the toddler, bag and camera on my hip. Ladies and gentlemen, that woman threw a hell-of-a-three-year-old party!
There have been times In my life that I would have peeped around today’s amazingly perfect Christmas party looking for measuring sticks by which to judge myself. Or worse, judge the room and a thinly veiled effort to prop myself up. I mean, we are talking about a preschool that had a bona-fide movie star in the pickup line yesterday, so there is sometimes a level of handbag gazing. But you know what? For every individually wrapped bag of goodies, I felt genuine admiration. And for every mom who showed up without (inclding me), I felt just as much admiration. And for every mom or dad that couldn’t be there? Admiration. Because I know what it took me to get my three kids out of the house this morning, and my guess is, everyone’s plate is just as full as mine.
You know what I did see everywhere today? Love. Simple. Genuine. Plain. Even when iced in amazing. Delivered by some folks doing what they can to help their children know – even if they don’t quite get it yet – that, for us, this is a very special time of year. It looks different for everyone at different times, and at different seasons and stages in our lives. And so long as everything we do comes from a place of generosity and not competition, a place of good will and good raising, examples of servanthood mixed with the fabulosity of who we are as individuals – then bring it on!!!
So dear ladies of the internet and beyond, drop the pitchforks, give yourself a hug and then hug the mom nearest you. If you’re a supermom and have yet to crash – rock on! If you’re a total deadbeat and didn’t know the holidays are even here, here’s a hug too, mom A has got your kid covered. And if you’re like me on an ever-vascilating roller coaster ride in-between, own it. Because no one can replace you. And that’s the truth.
Warm holiday hugs,Adrienne
PS – Yep, I’m blogging. Again. Deal with it.