Monday, January 06, 2014

Christmas "Break"

When you are a young undergrad student, Christmas Break is a very real thing.  You survive finals, then you crash at your parent's house, sleep for 2 or 3 days straight, grace extended family gatherings with your presence, get a horrendous illness and nurse yourself back to health before school starts again.  Simple, straightforward, and insanely self-centric.

When you are the mom and the grad student, Christmas Break is a very un-funny joke.  Not quite as unfunny a joke as finals at Christmastime, but still lunacy of the first order.  You barely survive finals while doing your utmost to not fail at the family's expectation for what Christmastime is supposed to be.  You do your best to avoid the irritated vibes from your kids and spouse for all the balls you are dropping.  You really want, and rather need, to collapse in a heap once your last final is officially behind you, but there is no time.  There are new emergencies on your plate.  You have just over a week to throw everything you've got at salvaging the holiday from your previous neglect.  Plus, extended family gatherings mean managing your children in public - herding cats and all that.  And if, perchance, you were ever to come across an empty 20 minute pocket of time, you know you really ought to be getting ahead on reading for the next semester.  You never once manage to be in bed before 1am.  You manage to box away the flurry of decorations and realize you are nearly floored by sleep deprivation and illness.  You realize you have the flu, and a sinus infection for New Years, and that you are out of time.  Your break is over and you never actually managed to take anything that resembles a break.  You maybe cry a little bit.

But self-pity aside, a lot of things were really lovely about this holiday.  And I think I managed to leave everyone with good memories in their mouth.  This child is even still suspending his disbelief, rather willingly, but in spite of my many failings.  It may be the last year of that magic. You rarely in life get a chance to realize you may be experiencing a last.  They're tender and rare and appreciated.

1 comment:, the way of the hummingbird said...

i not quite sure how you do it, but even your struggling times sound lovely and full of life. ... get some TLC on your cruise and indulge in some quiet time.

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