Christmas vacation. Here we are. In the thick and in between Christmas and New Years with a delicious stretch of time to recover from both holidays. The month leading up to Christmas is brimming with food and cookies at every turn, seasonal indulgences and late nights. It’s a holiday marathon. I loved most of it – and I feel proud that as a family we didn’t go overboard with presents for the girls or each other and kept the expectations reasonable and focused on our family. Christmas Eve day my dad, Sophie, Katie and I cooked up an Italian feast of manicotti, meatballs, sausage and tiramisu. We had a great day topped off with naps on the couch for all and Cliff and I high-fived each other for a job well done. We made it through all of the Nutcracker rehearsals and performances, school celebrations and every present got wrapped.
So much of preparing for the Christmas holiday - and most regular days for that matter- require enormous amounts of planning. I feel as though everyday is planned –lunches in the morning, getting dressed, working, monitoring screen time, making sure the girls each eat a daily healthy dose of fruits, veggies and proteins.
I am happily exhausted from a successful year (knock wood and sign of the cross because I am a superstitious Italian) of keeping the girls relatively healthy, smart and growing. They may not know more of a foreign language than counting 1-10 in Spanish, but they take ballet and basketball, they don’t watch too much television, they have friends and run around and ride their bikes in the neighborhood and they like broccoli. The bar is sometimes set unreasonably high for a parent in the 21ist Century. But this is the time I live in so I do my best every single day.
However, this week I am taking a vacation from it all. I am saying “Yes” to hours of old school Looney Tunes, “Absolutely!” to another cookie and “Sure, why not?!” to the jumpy house place. I am putting on my cozy sweatpants by three in the afternoon and I am not going to berate myself for eating cookies with the girls or the copious amounts of wine I have happily consumed. We all need a break from the everyday. Sophie and Katie need it. I need it. And it will not stunt their intellectual and emotional growth if they watch Sponge Bob Square Pants for the afternoon and eat mac & cheese three days in a row. Right now, it may just enrich them.