When my children head back to their various schools and universities, after the Thanksgiving Holiday, I just need a few things to get my life back on track: a maid, a diet, and a budget.
Truth be told, I’m sure I’m exaggerating about the maid. When they stuff all their piles of junk back into their cars, and I can actually see my counter tops and floors again, I will probably realize that I don’t really need a maid. I cleaned before they arrived, so technically, nothing got dirty; I just need to unload and reload the dishwasher a few hundred times, and do a few mountains of laundry, that I couldn’t do while I was busy doing theirs. I know you’re probably thinking I shouldn’t do their laundry, but when I did Gracie’s laundry the other day, I found tons of things that were mine. BONUS! I felt rich-It was like being paid, albeit with things I already own, like leggings, jeans, my favorite running socks. Still, it was oddly rewarding.
I guess it isn’t really my kids’ fault that I need a serious diet and a Personal Trainer after they visit. But, it kind’ve is. Adult children fall into a weirdly ambiguous category when they come home for the holidays. They’re your kids, but they’re also your guests. I feel compelled to entertain them when they are home, even more than I did when I was raising them. And, like everyone else, I tend to entertain best around food. Whether we prepare it at home or dine out, eating is our chief source of entertainment. I’m sure right about now you’re wanting to tell me how, in your family, you play board games and charades. We do that too, we just do it with baked goods, creamy martinis, Baileys poured into hot cocoa. Jimmy and I have found that we enjoy our adult children infinitely more when we share a cocktail with them.
When Gracie and I weren’t laying around eating, drinking, stalking pictures of her friends on Instagram or watching documentaries on Netflix, we were shopping. I was really motivated to have her help me buy toys for the two precious children we “adopted” for Christmas. I think it’s good to have one’s offspring participate in this activity. It builds character. The first day we went out, we never got within a mile of a toy (or character, for that matter) Before we knew it, it was getting dark, we were exhausted and it was time to go home and shake up some martinis. We did better the next day, Target was our first store and we managed to get every item checked off the list before we beat a hasty path to the boutiques. We squeezed in some regular Christmas shopping for our own family as well. Gracie likes to shop one-on-one with me, due to the “Shopping Principle of 1:1,” which simply states that, “Mom will buy one thing for us, for every one thing she buys for others!”
We managed to blow through all the money I had allocated for Christmas before the Thanksgiving turkey was even thawed.
I really think all I need is about 6-8 weeks to get my life back to normal. With minimal effort, I should be able to get caught up around the house, drop 5 lbs and restore positive fiscal relations with Jimmy and Citibank Visa.
The only glitch is that I don’t have that much time. My kids will be back in less than 3 weeks for Christmas. And Christmas vacation lasts way longer than Thanksgiving. In fact, sometimes Thanksgiving feels like a practice holiday, to remind me what it’s going to be like having everyone home for a month!
To keep my spirits bright, as she packs to leave this morning, Gracie is humming a Christmas Carol – And I am inserting my own lyrics:
I’ll be home for Christmas
You can plan on me
Please have dough,
so we can go
on a shopping spree…
Christmas Eve will find us
Sharing an alcoholic drink
I’ll be home for Christmas…
…Sooner than you think!