But something happens when you get older. When you peek behind the curtain and see who's pulling the lever. When you see how the sausage is made.
And just to be clear? It's hard to enjoy the sausage when you're the one making it.
I want to enjoy the holiday season but for some reason this year, it's just kicking my ass. I feel as though I'm scrambling to stay on my feet, meet my regular day-to-day obligations and then BOOM! this one gets sick and is out of school for a few days. Get her back to speed and then POW! that one gets sick and, so as not to be outdone by his sister, he's out for more days.
Don't get me wrong; I'm so thankful to be here for them. But damn. It's that most wonderful time of the year, which is a euphemism for that time of year when mom has to do all the things.
And damn, it makes me miss being a little kid and not being aware of the work behind the magic. But that's not how the world works. I tell my mom I appreciate all she did for us and I put my head down and I push forward and do what needs doing, reschedule what can be rescheduled and ask for help. I'm doing what I can but juggling flaming balls of stress while I do.
In the midst of this madness, this is the year that our tiny Bradford Pear trees decide to spew forth a forest worth of leaves onto the yard. And on top of that, the infamous Oklahoma wind that I've grown accustomed to has left me still this year, so the leaves just accumulated. And the yard looks like I feel; cluttered and out of sorts, a bit ragged and frumpy.
You know what makes stress better? Yes, wine, but also? Fresh air and exercise. So I headed to the yard, rake and giant trash bags in hand, a fresh episode of the Serial podcast on my phone and work gloves. I start raking. And raking. And I realize that I don't know that I've ever truly raked a yard before. I mean we had a big tree in our yard when I was a kid, and I'm sure the leaves were raked but that was a way long time ago.
And then I started piling up the leaves—pretty big piles but not big enough to jump in—and I realized that it was an exercise in futility to scoop up those damn leaves and stuff them in a bag. I ended up with leaves up my sleeves, in the pockets of my hoodie and one errant little bugger in my bra (wtf?).
But it was a good time to regroup. To take stock of the past few weeks and get some time to myself... even if it was raking leaves.
|Two little trees sure make a lot of leaves|
|This guy was pretty full and leafy until about a week ago|
|This is how we scoop the leaves...|
|A little bit of color in the monochrome leaf pile.|
|I still don't get how I raked up this many leaves...|
|... and the yard still looks filled with leaves.|