Monday morning greeted us with some much-needed rain. Elise is in Sealy with mom to help out with a doctor’s appointment. Mara and I were up and at it early for the start of a new week. Our commute to school was in a downpour.
We parked in our usual spot and waited our turn for the crossing guard to get us through the intersection in front of the school. We were walking on the sidewalk on our way to the front entrance; to the spot where we normally hug and say our goodbyes before the front entrance.
“Know what I like about the rain?”
“I like how you can look at the sidewalk and see the reflections of the trees.”
I honestly don’t think I’ve ever taken notice of the reflections of trees on a wet sidewalk. I don’t know why, but I got a real kick out of Mara pointing that out to me this morning. I think it’s those little things that kids notice and, if we’re really lucky, they’ll make mention of it for us. It’s a reminder to slow down, look around, and take in the little things.
Yesterday was Monday. It was a Monday after a pretty rough weekend. Maly, Mara, and I went to mom’s house to help out with post-surgery care, which turned into a lower intestine ulcer-induced 911 call on Sunday morning. All of Saturday and Sunday were really rough. Elise was back in Austin for work, so the girls and I were on task at Grandma’s house and it was just rough. I may or may not share some details of that experience at a later time.
In the meantime, Mara’s had a rough go of it. She was left to her own devices for the vast majority of the weekend. And her “own devices” meant no devices. I took the tablet away because I don’t want her wasting her youth away before a screen.
This is beside my point. Mara had a less than great weekend. And she really misses Elise. Elise has been with my mom since December 29th. The holidays came and went. We had COVID. New Years was, in a word, blah. And yesterday was the first Monday of a full school week. School started on Wednesday of last week on the heels of the holidays. Now it’s back to “normal.” Mara was sad on Sunday night when we got back from mom’s. And she was suffering from the blues on Monday morning knowing she had to go back to school.
So, after school, I decided I’d take her to the Karst Preserve, which is just a short drive from our house. We walked and talked, and I showed her the two caves. And she told me how she’s really interested in facts about nature and animals. And we just had a nice time together on our little preserve walk.
As sad as it is. I’m calling it a Christmas. Sitting on the couch, listening to my Christmas jazz playlist, and just finished my last Christmas Artbook.
The girls and I had dinner together. I started a fire and let the girls roast marshmallows and make s’mores as we watched Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I treated myself to a nice nog and Coke.
Now it’s time to turn off the tree, shake my blues, hit the hay, and carpe diem.
It wasn’t really intentional, but I realized I haven’t been on social media beyond a Facebook messenger conversation on Tuesday to coordinate the sale of some old toys.
I have to say that it’s been a very nice break. I don’t miss Instagram or Facebook at all. I think I might just keep this up. No clue how I’ll correspond with my run club though. Guess I’ll have to figure it out.
Mara and I read the second to last book of the Magic Treehouse series. Our goal was to finish the series during the Christmas break. We got close. It’s been a work-in-progress for probably 6 months. We’re guilty in getting caught up doing other things and not reading. There would be many weeks between books.
Part of my holiday blues is that the Christmas break is officially coming to an end. School starts back tomorrow. Tonight’s a school night. It’s back to “normal” and that ever-present Christmas spirit will be gone. The lights won’t be on the trees in the neighborhood. There won’t be Christmas music playing on 95.5 during the ride to school. And I could tell Mara was sad tonight. The same way I always was as a child when it was the night before school started back up. For me, it was always that Christmas was coming to an end. The experiences were coming to an end. Going back to school wasn’t that bad, it was that Christmas was over.
I’m living vicariously through Mara. And I’m sad. I’m sad for me and I’m sad for her. Another part of my holiday blues is coming to a realization that another year has passed. She’ll be 10 soon. She’ll be in 5th grade next year. She’s not going to be our little girl much longer. As my theme seems to be these days, another realization that life is fleeting. Children grow up too fast.
Ironically, the Magic Treehouse book we read tonight was “Thanksgiving on Thursday.” It’s the book where Jack and Annie are magically sent to Plymouth in 1621 to help prepare the first Thanksgiving feast for the Wampanoag and the Pilgrims. They were also sent to find a third kind of magic that would turn three worlds into one. This was done by bringing together themselves, the Wampanoag, and the Pilgrims as a community.
It usually takes us 45 minutes to read one of those books. She was tired when we were done. She was ready for bed. I told her I loved her a million times. And I told her “Merry Christmas” as I turned off her light and gave her a wink.