Last week I was working from home. I was supposed to be meeting work deadlines but for some reason I decided to go through old pictures and videos instead. The snow was falling, the woodstove was going and looking at old videos and was much more fun than working.
I came across a video from Christmas morning ten years ago. My kids were 12 and 11. My husband videotaped their excitement. My daughter was so happy because she got a game that she had been asking for all year and enough clothes to keep her going until next Christmas. My son woke up to new hockey pads, a glove and blocker. He was so excited and instantly put the equipment on. My husband then turned the camera to me. As I watched myself on the video, all I could think of was that I looked and sounded exhausted. I was probably tired because we’d been up too late the night before. I had also prepared for Christmas morning and had us all packed for the hockey tournament we’d be leaving for on boxing day morning. My enthusiasm was so forced that I wanted to reach through the screen and yell, “Enjoy this, these are the moments you are going to miss!”
I think it hit me really hard because a few weeks ago we helped my son move into his first home. We were so excited for him and happy to be a part of the move. At the end of a long day, all the boxes had been brought into the house. I asked him if he had anything else left and he said, “Dad put stuff in my trunk, do you mind grabbing it?” I innocently walked to the car and opened the trunk. I was struck by the smell as soon as it opened up, that old familiar hockey smell. The smell of goalie pads that had been dragged from rink to rink, marked up with puck marks and now held together with duct tape. In that moment the strong mother that didn’t cry became the hockey Mom that missed my kids and the time we shared together. I realized that these dirty old hockey pads didn’t live at my house anymore, we were at a new stage and as excited as I was for him, I wasn’t so excited for us. So, I will tell you I think I got my Christmas gift early this year. Someone somewhere knew I was missing the innocence of having my kids at home and my gift came as an afternoon curled up at home watching them on video, remembering a time that I will cherish forever. A time we were all under the same roof naively thinking it would stay like this forever.
Please don’t get me wrong, our holidays are still special. I wouldn’t change where we are in our lives for anything but there are moments I wish I would have stopped to enjoy those crazy busy times. Today I want to offer you the gift of advice from a Mom who has lived the hustle and bustle of navigating Christmas and a hockey schedule. Give yourself a break, Christmas isn’t meant to be perfect, it’s meant to be enjoyed. Instead of just surviving the season, enjoy it, you can sleep later!
Wishing you all an incredible and safe holidays season!
- Written by Allyson Tufts