My wish for you at Christmastime . . . & to infinity and beyond . . .

xmas

It was a couple days before Christmas. It was a tough, busy day, one of many in a particularly tough, busy week. Too much to do. Too many places to rush to. My little Mack had been in a particularly foul mood.

Earlier that morning, I had announced (with energy! and optimism!) that it was time! We needed to clean up and prepare for Christmas weekend. I was (and am) so excited about taking a few days off from everything,ย and to just sit and enjoy my family for a few days. To play games and eat cookies and sing together and gaze into the eyes of most of the people I love so much, and to drink endless cups of coffee and catch up on everything.

I’m so eager to sweep up sawdust, haul tools and lumber out of sight for just a few days, and just enjoy being together with our dear ones. To anticipate a toddler and a baby in the house again–my adorable grandsons of the sparkling eyes and the darling stubby fingers and the dewy skin!–oh, oh, oh, I couldn’t (and can’t!) wait.

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Amalia went right to work, as is her wont, thankfully. But Mack–instantly, without hesitation–had a meltdown. Again. And it wasn’t pretty. He stuck his lip out, he stomped his feet, he wailed, he looked ready to hit me. And I just stared at him–weak, tired, and at a complete loss. What was going on? I didn’t have time for this. And–make no mistake!–this wasn’t the first time this week that this had happened. He just wasn’t happy. Something was missing. It wasn’t just the chores. We struggled through the morning’s tasks anyway, with his fighting me and fussing . . . every blessed step of the way.

I hope the two or three people, by the way, who have accused me of having “perfect children” are reading this (cough). ๐Ÿ™ See?

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We struggled right up to the moment when I left, leaving the mess and poor dutiful Amalia and the to-do list and everything behind for a couple of hours while I indulged in taking my Mom to her knitting group. I said to myself that I was doing it for her–I surely didn’t have time to slip away for a couple of hours–but it fed my tired spirit enormously, to sit with friends and do nothing but knit and chat. The great thing about our group of knitting ladies is this: we all come from different backgrounds and live completely different lives from each other, but I feel completely accepted there. Mom and I don’t always go, but when we do, I feel like the other ladiesย  treasure the fact that we are there. Strangely. Better yet. They don’t sit in judgment over us; they don’t think about our shortcomings when they look at us, I can tell it. They are just happy that we are there.

For whatever reason, they like us. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Driving back home, thinking about what I was to face when I got there–dust, piles of dirty dishes, dirty laundry, weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth–I opened my heart to my mother, and confided in her about how difficult our little Mack had been lately. Mom thought for just a moment, and then she quietly reminded me of how much my little man had lost over the past year or two: two beloved older brothers–who are so good to him, and will drop everything to play with him for a couple of hours, really, what a dream for any little boy to have these sweet young men in his life!–had moved away. They were now still quite far away (though Tim is on a hiatus from his far-awayness), too far to go visit without a very long drive. His lovely older sister–also a force for good in his life, and for creative play like making movies and drawing together–had gotten married and had moved out of the house, also.

All this, in a little more than a year’s time.

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(And what was left? A tired, frustrated mother who expected more and more from him.)

“How hard for him,” my mom said, simply. “I’ll bet he’s just sad. And struggling with all those changes.” I went home with a heavy heart, knowing that she was right, that I just needed to sit down and play with my boy, but I knew that there were still jobs that needed to be done before I could do that—my friend Gene was coming over the next morning to help me with the soil in my hoop house. I needed help tearing down the tomato cages so they were out of the way, first, before we could work on the soil. Amalia left for work as soon as I got home, so it was going to be up to Mack and me.

I called my little man to me, took a deep breath, and explained the grim situation to him.

I needed help.

And he–bless his heart!–was it.

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Tearing down tomato cages is not a single-person job, especially in the hoop house, where the tomato vines grow so vigorously and joyfully up and out of their confines, and then all the way back to the ground again. They are like wild adolescents: you can’t tell me where I can and can’t go, Mom! I am growing up! And out! They are monsters, these plants, and it takes two people to jerk them out of the cages, even after they’ve been dead for a couple of months. In fact, the reason this job wasn’t done yet was because I just hadn’t gotten around to getting somebody out there to help me. I explained this to Mack, and I saw his eyes grow wide and his eyebrows plunge downwards, and his lip push out.

He was going to melt down again.

*But then it hit me, all at once, what he needed. He needed me to say to him what I, myself, am aching to hear, every blessed day of my life. Probably since my baby years. Probably until I’m ancient. Probably what you want to hear every day, too, from somebody you care about, whether you know it or not.

“You are precious to me, you know,” I said, looking deep into his green eyes that are nearly identical to my own. “I love you. You are my treasure. I don’t know what I’d do without you. That’s the truth.”

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*Isn’t this the most important thing? We all need–we all deeply desire to feel precious to somebody. It does make all the difference, doesn’t it, between a crappy day getting you down, or a crappy day being something you can just laugh off. And please pardon my crude lingo. (Forgive me, Amalia, I just can’t think of a better word . . . I am, after all, a slave to my Gentle Readers. ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

I watched him closely as his little face contorted for just a moment, and then it cleared. Then he reached into his pocket. “Will we need my pocket knife?” he asked, his eyes shining, pulling his beloved “Swiss” out of his pocket with a proud flourish.

“Absolutely,” I said, blinking away tears. I folded him into my arms for just a moment, just as long as he could stand it . . . before he broke free, and ran off to find boots and coat. He already had his Swiss.

I’m sorry, little man, for not remembering to tell you just how much I love you, every single day. You are my treasure. Someday you, too, will put on a new jacket that I just bought for you, you’ll pack up your boxes and your bags and you’ll get into the car or truck or hovercraft that you’ve just built, or whatever it is that will take you away from me, and you will go. Forgive your old mama for not reminding you of how precious a gift you are to me, every stinkin’ moment of every stupid day.

Do you have somebody in your life who is a bit prickly or troublesome or frustrating right now? Is this something you need to do, to reassure them of your love for them? It might turn things around. I would never lecture you, my darling Gentle Readers, but I’m sharing with you what I myself learned this very week. *sigh*

You never stop learning, do you? And thank God for that.

woodpile

And here’s the thing, Gentle Reader, and I hope you already know this, but I’ll remind you of it, just the same. Even if you don’t have somebody in your life who tells you, regularly, that you are precious to them–in their actions, but also in their words–and gosh, I hope that you do!you are precious to God.

Isn’t that a comfort? It is to me.

That’s why he sent his son, in the most wonderful form anybody can imagine–a sweet, dewy-skinned baby–to save us from lives of despair and hopelessness.

“Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you . . . “–Is 43:4

Is this not a wonderful thing? Isn’t it a bit mind-blowing? I am so not worthy of this.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” –Is 9:6

Gentle Readers. Thank you for returning to this space, again and again, and for loving me the way you do. Every sweet comment, every “way ta go, Amy!” every time you find my posts worthy enough to share with your friends, every time you share a helpful tip with me, all these simple actions serve to build me up.

*You guys are precious to me. See how easy this is?

Merry, happy, lovely, beautiful, precious Christmas to you!

My Icelandic roosters say Merry Christmas, too! :)

My Icelandic roosters say Merry Christmas, too! ๐Ÿ™‚

Blessings.

*hugs*

 

18 thoughts on “My wish for you at Christmastime . . . & to infinity and beyond . . .

  1. Daisy

    Thank you for your gift of writing. This is exactly what I needed to hear today! I found your blog browsing for answers for my molting chickens and I’ve only been reading for a few days but in this one post I see just how much we have in common! I’m very glad God caused me to “stumble” across your blog. May your family have a blessed and merry Christmas!

  2. gene gage

    Whoa – this one is a weeper! But one that most of us – I suspect – need to read. We are going through similar worries about some of our grandkids and great grandkids. All four of the (currently) difficult ones have experienced similar losses recently – the parents of two of them just went through a totally nasty divorce, and the mother of the other two is in the slammer for dealing meth. (And all four kids are roughly the same age as Malachi.)

    But you are blessed on this day to be able to provide Mack with the opportunity to be with his much loved brothers and sisters – at least most of them. He was definitely upbeat and animated and optimistic on Wednesday as we sat around that woodstove drinking coffee and trying to get warm in the company of Amalia, Timothy and your nephew. He is gonna be fine, Mama! He is a VERY bright and engaging little person – and, did I detect a budding entrepreneur? Not every little boy is thinking about creating an online store for gerbil owners!

    I’ll be thinking about you and Mack (and Amalia) today.

    Have a blessed Christmas!

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Gene, you would pick up on that home business idea! He is still percolating on that one. I think he’s trying to figure out how to make some pocket-money without actually doing hard physical toil. ๐Ÿ˜‰ He is creative, I’ll give him that. Loss, from my experience, is particularly hard on kids, and they don’t often have the words to explain why they feel so absolutely wretched. When Bryan’s brother Kirk died in a sudden accident, our Andrew was a little boy, and he took out his feelings by cutting up the screens on the front porch. No words. No “please Mom, can we talk about this, I feel sad?” He just took a knife to the screens. I still don’t think he knew exactly why he was doing it. A wise parent (or grandparent) will see these actions (and attitudes) for what they are, which is a cry for love and comfort. (He had to help fix the screens, too, by the way.)

  3. Joyce

    Oh, Amy, thank you for a wonderful read to begin my Christmas morning! (and, yes, it is good to hear your children aren’t perfect! ๐Ÿ™‚ ) You’re blessed to have an insightful mother who is close by (who had perfect children….??)

    I loved the pictures of your feathered friends; such festive colors against the white snow.

    Have a blessed Christmas with your family! Enjoy getting your grandma fix and I’m sure little Mack will enjoy getting his big brother fix!

  4. Lucy

    Amy-
    Our neighbors invited us over this afternoon and I didn’t have a clue as to what to bring. She can’t have eggs and most everything I looked at called for them….how did you know I needed your recipe : ? ) And I didn’t think I needed the gift of a good cry this morning but I got one anyway after reading your post….

    So honestly, thank you for them both along with the sweet gift of your self!

    Lucy

  5. Alana

    I had tears in my eyes by the end of this blog post. My son had his moments for sure when I was raising him – a LOT of moments. You have a wise mother. I could have wished for a peek into my future. I hope you enjoyed your white Christmas (we will be in winter by Tuesday, sigh). And I love your Icelandic chickens!

  6. Kay

    As one who was whining and complaining and stomping around this week like Little Mack, I needed to read this and be reminded once again, that I am loved & am important to my Heavenly Daddy. I know it in my heart, but I needed a strong reminder.
    Bless you my Friend. Merry Christmas!

  7. Chef William

    Wonderfully written Amy………God is Love so everything that we are or should be is based on love. He shares his love willingly and we are to do likewise. Often in the hustle and bustle of life we forget to tell our loved ones just how much we care and love them. Being in our daily lives, interacting with each other, we forget that a quick hug can not only lift their spirits but it will lift ours as well. As we get older it becomes more and more important to let our loved ones know of this love. One day one of us won’t be here and the other person will be able to remember all the hugs and the “I Love You’s” as they continue on without us…I hope I leave a lot of wonderful memories…..to infinity and beyond.

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Dear Chef, your comment is so wonderfully written that I’m re-reading it. Thank you for your kind words. I think that is the legacy I’d like to leave, too: lots of warm and happy and positive memories.

  8. Cindi Summerlin

    I just have to say that your Icelandic Roosters are the most beautiful birds I’ve seen in a while. Worthy of 11×17 frames. And I hope that Little Mack knows how special and precious he is to all of us who just know him from blog-world. I believe that he is a young man with a purpose who will grow to be a blessing to many.

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Thank you Cindi. I’m going to share that with him. It sure means a lot to me to have you as one of my Gentle Readers. Humble thanks.

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