Christmas Zen

We’re all in a festive holiday mood around here. Bonus Baby merrily ripped open all the wrapped presents her sister had bought at Santa’s Workshop for us that we foolishly placed under the Christmas tree.  Bonus Child was focused on torturing me all day, putting her cold feet and hands all over me and deliberately blocking my view of the computer screen.  She claims she’s certain I’m not getting her the kid’s laptop that she wants for Christmas and she’s mad at me for that.  And Big Daddy’s singing Christmas Carols.  After the Red Cross rejected him when he went to give blood Saturday because his blood pressure was so high he was about to burst, he came home singing in his finest baritone voice, “I’ll be deeaad for Christmas…” Funny guy!

Despite all the everyday hustle and bustle, torture and annoyances, I still haven’t been fired up enough about anything to post a rant lately, although I came really close after Black Friday shopping.  So I’m wondering, have I reached the end of the line?  And I’m not talking about the blogging thing…I’m talking about my life line.  You know how they say we’re here for a purpose…to work things out…to grow and change?  And now it seems I’m so zen about things,  so uncharacteristically mature and calm about things that would have sent me through the roof not so long ago, that maybe I’m the one who should be singing that Christmas tune.  Have I worked out all the kinks in my psyche??

For instance, I was reading a post by my brilliant hilarious blog friend Robin who was suffering some angst over her teenaged son’s somewhat slacker ways.  This brought back so many memories of my own endless struggles with my Oldest Son’s apparent willingness to just “get by.”  I pleaded.  I yelled.  I bribed.  I stressed.  But still…he was content to work well below his awesome potential all through school.  I bought him planners and organizers to teach him how to remember to turn in assignments and pay his bills on time.  Still, he ended up losing his full tuition scholarship and frequently paid ridiculous credit card late fees, not because he didn’t have the money, but because he “forgot” to open his mail or write a check.  I stressed.  I agonized.  I pleaded.  He usually took the path of least resistance and took out loans or paid for classes with his own funds rather than go through the paperwork hassle of using his GI bill benefits that he earned by risking his life in Iraq.   I nagged.  I begged.  I foamed at the mouth.  But now that he’s moved out, found a young lady who is happy to take care of marry him, I’ve just learned to let go.  Even when he still gets overdue bills sent to the house.  Even though I’m pretty sure he’s screwing up his classes.  I have finally learned to just take a deep breath and let go.

Then there’s mom.  She used to really push my buttons.  She doesn’t try to do this.  It’s just the way she’s wired.  But it used to piss me off soooo bad.  Here’s a scenario my sis texted me yesterday…substitute her sweet smart daughter–she really is one of the good kids–for my three generally well-behaved sons–and it’s a classic mom soliloquy:

Fourteen year-old niece was going to a formal Christmas dance with her super-nice clean-cut boyfriend wearing heels that mom deems too high and grown-up.  Mom is clueless about these things.  But for weeks she’s railed about these shoes and and how slutty they look.  Sis invited mom over to see how cute lovely niece looked for the dance.  She immediately goes into Sis’s dining room and focuses on the mini blind the dog cracked trying to fix it, then she starts in on the heels, the length of the dress and the pouf it has (I saw it–it’s adorable), how it looks all bunched in the back, BLAH BLAH BLAH, then she starts railing on about the TV show they had on about brides wanting plastic surgery and when niece tries to explain it she cuts her off, then start ragging about Sis not having any decorations on her tree yet because her girls didn’t feel like decorating (like really, who does?) and calling her girls the laziest people God ever made (I told Sis I thought it was my boys that were the laziest because they didn’t hang their jackets up when mom came to visit) and that my sister should have MADE them do it and she should be ashamed etc. etc. etc.  and I just sat here and had to laugh (and sympathize) with poor sis because I’ve lived that scenario so many times…and it finally doesn’t bother me anymore.

Have I mellowed out?  Am I just too old to care?  Or did I finally grow up?  I don’t have it figured out just yet.  But I plan to enjoy the holidays with this new found inner peace.

Merry Christmas, all!

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8 Responses to “Christmas Zen”


  1. 1 Cyndi December 20, 2010 at 11:49 am

    Whatever the cause of your recent ability to just let things go….KUDOS!!!! I get there, most days, but letting it go is still a struggle for me on many occasions. You’re my new idol! Have a wonderful Christmas Les! 🙂

    • 2 les@mamaneeds2rant December 20, 2010 at 12:08 pm

      Thanks, Cyndi. I think you’re doing a great job yourself! If what Dr. Phil says is true about it taking a thousand atta boys (girls) to make up for one negative comment, it’s a miracle that some of us are functioning at all—let alone as well as we are!! 🙂

  2. 3 Cindy #2(the former Cindy Alden) December 20, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    Leslie,
    Lil and my Mom were made from the same cookie cutter.As far as letting things go,I think we have both witnessed exactly what we don’t want to be when we grow up and have achieved it.
    My Mom rags on my older niece who is all the way in Texas!You’ve heard of the”long arm of the law?” My brother-in-law calls it “the long arm of the mother-in-law!LOL!
    Tell her to join a second choir.Maybe she’ll get laryngitis!
    I love your MOM,I do.I’m thinking that she had someone just like herself in her family and absorbed that person’s ways like a sponge.
    In my family it was my Mom’s Mom-my grandmother.
    Now you know why I live 4 hrs away!
    MERRY CHRISTMAS!
    BTW,the light coming out of the left side of the window behind your tree actually looks like an electrified cat climbing up the tree!I had to look at it a while to figure it out.
    Lovexoxox,
    Cindy#2

    • 4 les@mamaneeds2rant December 20, 2010 at 7:37 pm

      haha, Cindy. You would see cats. I would never guess that about your mom, just like no one would guess that about Lil. They seem like such sweet docile little ladies out in public!! And unlike some mothers, I really don’t believe that either one of them are motivated by anything mean and nasty. Like I know they both love their kids and grandkids. They just can’t HELP themselves, I guess.
      You’re right. I think the negative controlling streak has skipped this generation. I always tried to catch myself if it reared its ugly head. But for the life of me, I have no idea what made mom like this. My Nana was a saint. In fact, the only thing she may have done wrong was indulge mom a little too much and do everything for her. That is why I would much rather have a kid that hates me and thinks I’m a drill sergeant than raise a spoiled entitled little brat.

  3. 5 Dawn December 20, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    Big daddy has a great sense of humor in OMG moments. And oh my that is a magnificent Christmas Tree even though it is a little fat on the right side. *snort*

    Merry Christmas Les!

  4. 7 robinaltman December 20, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    Poor Big Daddy! Shouldn’t they suck out even more blood if someone has high blood pressure? If it was good enough for King Henry’s doctors…

    I’m still happy that someone called me brilliant. It made me feel so good I stopped sneaking upstairs with the butcher knife.

    Merry Christmas!


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