Yesterday when I caught my doll watching the snow fall from our living room picture window, I noticed a faint-but wanting smile of hope cross her face. “Doll, it’s not supposed to snow enough to cancel school…” I said. ” I know” she said, moving way from the window. “But.. a girl can hope…”
This past weekend, the weather outside was not inviting. Due to freezing rain, the doll’s basketball game was cancelled which allowed us to stay in our PJ’s for most of the day. The day before, we were much more productive. Having received many gift cards from a video game store and an area book store, the boy’s pockets were burning. “I’ll make a deal with you…” I said. “I’ll take you to redeem the gift cards at the video store, but first you get your hair cut”. “Okay” He replied, surprising me. I honestly thought he’d fight harder to keep his unruly long hair. Instead all he wanted to keep were his sideburns-which he did. Later after Dad returned from work, he drove the doll and boy over to the bookstore. Apparently he also had cards burning a hole in his pocket.
In the meantime I stayed behind and began the slow process of recovering from the holiday season just past.
On Saturday while the kids read their new books and the TV played in the background, I pulled all the ornaments from the tree, placing them carefully back into their storage bins, unplugged all the lights and wrapped them carefully in easy to manage holders before finally dismantling our 24 plus-year-old tree. I dispatched the boy to the basement to retrieve the box and fearing he would be in charge of returning the repacked tree to the basement complained, “Mom we need a new tree…” “Bay this tree still looks good after all these years..” I said very happy that my statement to him was true. “But a new tree will have a better box to store it in…” He explained. “Wow…bay, don’t overtax yourself there” I replied with a laugh.
Once everything was packed and put away, we ran the vacuum and repositioned the furniture to fill the empty space. “I like the coffee table over here…can we not put it back in the corner?” The boy asked. “Mom I like how that picture is unobstructed” the doll added and then went back to her reading.
“Now what….?” I asked the room of people who failed to respond. They were too distracted by their own thoughts or a video on an iPad or reading. “Now what shall we do?” I asked as my question fell upon deaf ears.
Yesterday a friend of mine on Facebook posted the last section of W.H Auden’s Christmas Oratorio poem For the Time Being which honestly I had never read. There was plenty of discussion and joking around about the meaning and stern reminders the poem invokes. I think the reason I identified so much with the poem is the same reason the doll was hoping to find a snow day this morning. Coming back to the real world after a two-week layoff can be hard. Staying present within that world-even harder.