Wordless Wednesday: Rollover, And Over, And Over...
Teenagers are like video games: I press ALL the buttons and hope for the best!

James and The Chocolate Advent Calendar

It's the holidays, again -- or the holidaze, as we call it at our house. It hit 70+ degrees, yesterday...and the Weather Channel dudes promised 60's, today...then we're supposed to get hit with a snow storm, tomorrow...and WELCOME TO JERSEY!

I even saw a couple of gnats flying around, all confused and stuff, until I squashed them against the kitchen window...because gnats are gnasty.

[sound of crickets, gasping for breath]

Aaaaaanyway, for the holidaze to have officially arrived at our house, at least one of three things has probably happened.

  1. A major appliance has died or is very nearly dead.
  2. Someone in our immediate family is dealing with a medical emergency.
  3. One of the vehicles is in need of a major repair.

And by Thursday, we hit two out of three: the water heater broke; Doofus-dawg got REAL sick and we had to rush him to the animal hospital on Saturday.

Aaaaaand, YES!!! We consider our pets as immediate members of our family, because fur babies are people, too.

[the sound of crickets, exploding]

Long story, short: the hits just keep coming, it's been a loooooooong and stress-filled week/month/year, you guys.

There IS some good, here: our Doofus-dawg pulled through and is on his way to a full recovery, just in time for "Are you going to eat ALL that Turkey?" Day.

[knocking on wood, until knuckles bleed]

Okay, that's some REAL GOOD news...right there!

"Hey mom, it's me."

Aaaaaand, then...after spending last weekend with friends...my oldest called home, very early (i.e. before I had a chance to finish my first cup of coffee) yesterday morning.

"My car broke down."

Without going into too much detail (you're welcome!) this, my friends, is a fine example of THE WORST possible timing, at it's best.

"GAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

My two oldest girls carpool, together. My oldest is in-between jobs, at the moment. Both of our cars have hit 100,000+ miles. For reasons too looooooong and booooooooring to go into, something in my brain broke. I was just two gray cells shy of having a total mental breakdown.

"Call your father!"

Because I'm an awesome mom, like that.

2 cups of coffee later, I dropped my middle girl off at work and, although I was much calmer than when we first left the house (I blame it on my broken brain), my thoughts grew very dark.

Why this? Why now? Why us? And, more importantly, how in the heck was I going to get 2 other people to work, with 1 working car between us?

I pulled a u-ey (or a u-turn, if you're not from Jersey) and decided to make a quick stop at Michaels, because suckage like this calls for some serious yarn-therapy...YO!

Yarn therapy

There were three skeins of the oatmeal-colored yarn I needed...yes, I NEEEEEEDED THEM!!!...and thank goodness, because I was already running dangerously low on gray cells...but I only grabbed two skeins...so as not to deny anyone else some yarn-therapy...and welcome to my brain!

"Hold onto the calendar TIGHT, Jimmy."

I stood in line behind a woman with three little kids, I'm guessing all under the age of double-digit-back-talk, the youngest sitting in a stroller and holding on...TIGHT....to an advent calendar.

[whispering]

"There's chocolate in here!"

[a little louder]

"The kind you eat!"

I looked down and realized that the little boy was actually talking to me.

"Mmmm...hmmm."

Pro-Tip: Little kids aren't very good at understanding when an adult isn't in the mood for conversation, just so you know.

"Every day, we get to eat one piece!"

This time, I just nodded my head, because I'm awesome with little kids, like that.

"Me...my sisters...even my dad..."

A grin broke out all over his face and I began to feel this funny sort of fuzzy warm start to wash over my body.

"Wow...you mean, you share chocolate with your dad, too?!?!"

He smiled, nodded his head and continued to poke at the calendar.

"Uh-huh...aaaaaand...he gets to open the FIRST window!"

Aaaaaand then it hit me...like a trunk-load of unfinished baby books, upside the head...the longing for the days when a quick trip to Michaels and a simple little chocolate advent calendar could bring a smile to our faces, like that.

"We get one of these, all the times!"

Funny thing is, so do we...ALL the times...in fact, arguing over who opened the first (or last) window has become a sort of family tradition, every December 1st.

Along with putting their shoes out on St. Nicholas Day, every December 6th!

Something in my brain began to heal. I was once again reminded of the little things that make this frazzled, wigged-out and very tired mama's heart...happy.

"Wow, it's so nice of you to let your dad open the first one!"

And then the suckage didn't seem all that bad, really. Nothing that we can't live (or haven't lived) through, before.

"Yeah, I know. His name is James, just like mine!"

Nothing that a chocolate advent calendar couldn't remedy, I mean.

"Well, it's very nice to meet you...James!"

I smiled all the way back to my way car, I even made eye contact with folks (some of them, smiling back), because I just got schooled...by a pre-schooler. And thank you for the reminder, little James.

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