Christmas Garland

My twins walked out of Pre-K with two enormous - ok, not enormous, but it looked enormous with their little hands holding it up - Christmas countdown garland. You know the ones with the construction paper rings. Twenty five rings each of construction paper meant to celebrate Christmas’s arrival. Lovely, I thought. Just what my messy house needs - more construction paper. Where do you even hang these things up? Do people really hang these things up? I don’t think I am one of those people that hangs these things up. I have bulletin boards full or their artwork, framed crafts in the playroom, and the occasional little doodle saved in my cookbooks that I do certainly cherish. But, this time of year makes me fully aware of the lack of capacity to add any more - even construction paper ring garlands - to my house, to my mind, to me. Do people really diligently let their children take turns cutting off each ring? Do they remember to do it each day? Does it not get destroyed by rough housing boys, dancing girls, and toddlers that think destruction is playing? People do. Or at least one mom does. I saw it. I went to her house for a Pre-K moms Christmas party and sat on her white furniture with her white carpet. White furniture? Really? That is not even a color I contemplate wearing much less cover major furniture with. I saw her garland. Perfectly intact, hanging on her pantry door with exactly 6 rings taken off. See, people do this. They carefully manage these tiny preK projects as they sit in their white furniture. I had convinced myself that those people don’t exist. Its not that I am just a failure at this stuff, its that these people don’t exist and so I shouldn’t feel bad about my lack of ability to keep things neat, orderly, intentional. But, there, that red and green contraction paper decoration threw my theory out the window. Those people do exist and as I walked back into my house from the party, I saw our garlands torn into no less than 100 pieces all over the living room. It had lasted 6 days hanging over our living room bookshelf. Defeat set it. Maybe I just need to surrender that I will always have crumbs on the floor, glitter on the table, shoes strung about, and a lost book bag nearly every morning. I could blame it on my five small children. I could blame it on my lack of help. I could blame it on my inability to nag my children into doing what they should. Whatever it is, I am not a garland maintaining kind of mom. There, I said it. I will throw away your pre k craft when you aren’t looking, I will return kid gifts that have a million pieces, and I will let you snack before dinner. And I will try very very hard to quit feeling bad about that.

Richmond, VA.