Tuesday, January 22, 2013

how we do holidays

Winter break was only a couple of weeks ago, but we were ready for a long weekend! Here's how we spent our time:

Lots of hot, gingered lemonade (heavy on the honey please - yum!)

Catching up on correspondence (this will be the year of writing letters for both of us)


Filling the house with the smell of baking (oatmeal cranberry cookies)

Note: the heart shape never happened but they were delicious in any shape or form

Musical jam sessions (I rock the wooden thingy with the ridges; Cowgirl likes to begin each selection with a little harmonica or kazoo prelude before the main event of bongos)

Marathon game sessions complete with popped corn or s'mores (marshmallows roasted over the gas burner ... not as quaint as a campfire, but as effective)

Making paper snowflakes from coffee filters because we want snow! (the idea came from The Artful Winter ebook -  the source of the above cookies and lots of great craft activities which I hope to use in a girl's circle with Cowgirl and her friends; can't wait to check out the other seasons' offerings)

After I hung the snowflakes up, look what happened!

Okay, I confess we got a little Laura Ingalls Wilderesque here. Cowgirl and I recently started reading Little House in the Big Woods; I loved the Little House books as a girl and re-read them over the years so I am thrilled Cowgirl is enjoying them with me. I had forgotten the detail (which requires lots of pauses and explanations; I cannot remember if I was as baffled by the descriptions of frontier living) and it is making me nostalgic for simpler family life. (Not that my childhood resembled any kind of Father Knows Best, Family Ties or even Brady Bunch world which is perhaps why I crave these family-centric experiences.)  

Cue syrupy music and golden sunlight as I anticipated an afternoon spent in front of the fire playing a rollicking game of monopoly.  Then cue crashing glass, needle scratching over a vinyl record and the screeching of wild monkeys as said game quickly descended into a personal sturm und drang for Cowgirl when the Husband purchased Boardwalk before she could.

Oh yes, our little half pint of cider was not a happy camper.  And as I sat on the couch listening to the accusations (you don't listen to me!) and the wails (game was put away on account of poor sportswomanship which resulted in new depths of anguish) I was grateful for a new ally in what I think of as mommy moments.  

Introducing my Good Enough Mother (right; along with her opposite, The Too Good Mother who looks a lot like Peggy from season one of Mad Men which in itself is fodder for deep, psychological processing) who sat with me on the couch that long afternoon and reminded me that parenting is hard and that growing up is even harder.  She patted my hand, poured me another cup of gingered lemonade (good for the body and soul) and helped see that being challenged is the way we grow and that if we allow each other the space and time to vent and rage and cry then there is always a desire to cuddle, discuss, understand and learn.  We both are strong enough to withstand the friction and we help each other find our way back to calm after chaos. (Thank you Jane for introducing me to these powerful archetypes in your e-course; Too Good Mother is packing her bags and will soon be on her way out!)

I think Laura, Ma and Pa would be as baffled by our life as we are by theirs.  

For the record: next game of monopoly went smoothly and no tears ... of course Cowgirl got both Boardwalk and Park Place and then plodded straight on towards a Trump-like empire of hotels that wiped me out after an hour of play.  I faced bankruptcy without shedding a single tear.  See how I've grown? 

Oh, yes, another visit from the Tooth Fairy completed our holiday weekend!  I hope yours was as pleasurable if not as tumultuous!



  1. ah...love. how i could write you a short essay here in your comment box.

    i like to think we do better than most in the "allowing" <--- even putting it like that makes me wince, as if we have the right to allow or disallow another persons emotions ? -- the temper and tears and tantrums and rages etc. of both our children. and in our turn, we two adults are free to outwardly express our own "moments". and afterward, we cuddle, we wipe tears, we talk and we move on...

    still, there are times when moods clash and we are not so expansive and accepting of one another and so the Too Good Mother takes the opportunity to point out the likelihood of permanent scarring and emotional shackling and the trifecta of guilt/shame/lack of worth....and that's just what it's doing to me ;)


    but surely the knowledge and the promise to do better next time counts, right?

    hot, gingered, lemonade...okay - must. have. recipe.

    love to you..for your wisdom and guiding light...oh, and your awesome paper dolls which i totally need to make too...:)


    ps. i can't even comment on the idyllic setting of your wintery afternoon...T-G-M is looking over my shoulder...:)


  2. Those are some magic snowflakes! Keep them away from me please because we have enough and are in a very deep and dangerous winter chill. Confession: I called in "cold" to my work and Riley's school today because I just can't face going outside. Our first holiday after Christmas will be spring break and so today at home together will be a much welcome break. I hope you added a little vermut to that lemonade by day's end!

  3. Oh how I LOVED the Laura Ingalls books! I really wanted to make the maple syrup candy. Also I had Scarlet Fever as a child and thought I was going to go blind because that is how Mary Ingalls went blind! My mother had to explain to me how we had antibiotics and I would not go blind!!
    Lovely magical ways to spend your time together. . .