When I originally sat down to write this letter to you, I was frustrated and tired. I was ready to pen my exasperated letter to you asking...begging for time.
Santa, what Mum of little kids can't use that, right?
What Mum at all can't use more time in the day?
Actually, what grown up can't use that?
More time, especially during this season of hustle and bustle and gifts to buy and traditions to uphold and places to visit and baking and wrapping and elf moving.
So as I sat down, grumbling about how slow my laptop was booting up, my daughter walked into the living room and spilled an entire bowl of cereal. Let me be more clear, not so much spilled, as accidentally hurled the bowl into the air so that a rainbow of cereal and milk showered three quarters of the living room. Santa, I swear our natural motto around here is Go Big or Go Home in all things we purposefully or accidentally do.
I saw this happening, as I was in mid-sentence of saying, 'I don't think eating that in here is a good idea,' so my internal flinch reaction was frustration with the fact that the very last thing I needed to add to my to do list, among the laundry list of holiday tasks, regular chores, and child rearing needs, was to add 'mop the living room floor'.
Before I even had a chance to react as she and I made eye contact after the splash, her face crumpled up and said, "Mumma, forgive me! Please forgive me!"
I took a deep breath, and in a calm voice that surprised even me, I had her fetch some towels and we cleaned it up together. It was only quarter of ten in the morning, Santa, so that certainly had something to do with it (let's face it, my patience bucket is profoundly lower come 5p everyday), but it was at that moment that I realized that my Christmas list needed fixed.
Not because she was immediately heartbroken that I was going to be mad, nor because I am some magical beacon of calm in the face of annoyance. But because it actually wasn't all that bad or time consuming to just clean it up when I wasn't also using up energy on being annoyed.
Santa, deep down, I understand that the time that I have each day, is just what it is. There is no getting more because time is just time. We all, all of us, get the same amount every single day and then it is filled up with life until we fall asleep and try again.
So, Santa, I'd like to change my wish. What I actually would like for Christmas, Santa, is patience.
Patience to tackle the spilled cereal bowl that flies across the room at 9:45 in the morning (and probably again at 7:30 at night) because someday I won't have kids in my house at all to eat at 9:45 in the morning and 7:30 at night because there will be school and sports and friends and everything that is incredibly more cool than eating cereal in the living room to be near Mum.
Patience to see that an hour spent reading Christmas picture books to my kids is just as valuable as an hour spent folding the laundry that has been sitting in the laundry baskets for three days because someday the kids will be able to both read by themselves and do their own laundry and after all, what's an hour of life? It is, in fact, both everything and nothing and that's why it is so valuable as to what fills it up.
Patience for the dust and dog hair making tumbleweeds in the corners of every room and the toys and crayon drawings that are never.where.they.are.supposed.to.be because someday my house will be clean and tidy, but in this season of our life it is full of life in all ways possible and that also means full of mess.
Patience for the sounds; so much noise and so loud. Patience for the humming, and made up words and stories, and the tireless questioning and negotiating, and the incessant 'Mum, Mum, Mum, Mum, Mum, Mum, Mum' that makes up the melody of my day because someday it will be quiet and somehow that will be even louder than all this noise.
Patience for this body of mine that doesn't look exactly like I want it to, nor fit into clothes like it used to because I could use a daily reminder that despite it not being perfect, it sure does work like I need it to, and for that I should be grateful.
Patience for this house of ours that needs repairs, and updates, and has far too much stuff in it because it is the home our children will remember as theirs when they are far away living their own lives and where we work together side by side to make small changes within a budget that we plan together, and where we are safe and comfortable and warm every single day.
Patience for so many things, simply because I live in a country that values freedom of speech and thought and the privilege of #firstworldproblems at all.
Patience for all the things that don't move as quickly as I think I need to move; this laptop, the traffic, the kids, my husband, our pets, the boiling pot of water for dinner, the coffee maker....me and this Studerbaby4 bump, because I must learn to recognize that life is not a checklist.
Look up, Tabitha.
Patience when I can feel frustration bubbling up into my voice and my face and my posture because I can change nothing in the world but my own attitude...and yet that change can change everything in my own world.
to be a better wife.
a better Mum.
a better Daughter.
a better sister.
a better friend.
I know I need to work on this for myself too, I'm just hoping for maybe a little extra dose in my stocking this year if possible.
thank you, Santa
(send my love to the Mrs. and the elves)
ps. also, World Peace
k, thanks, love you, bye.