I've had a lot of thoughts swirling in my head the last week or so as I've begun thinking about the holidays and our schedules with our kids.
I am at a place of total acceptance regarding custodial schedules.
It is simply the way it is.
Some years I think it works out perfectly and others it just seems there's more running around than enjoying. But, when there are other parts of our children's families involved, it sometimes falls that way.
Although I am in a place of acceptance, I've come to realize not everyone else involved is.
A few weeks ago while I was driving Reagan to school, she asked me about how her Christmas schedule was this year. And yes, just the fact that this 6 year old was concerned about her "schedule" was sad for me...
So, I explained that she's going to wake up this year on Christmas morning with her mom and then we'll get her later that day. She muttered a quiet, "oh". I asked what was wrong and she said, "It's Lily's first Christmas and I'm not going to be there."
And that's just the way it is.
However, just because that's how it is, doesn't make it easy on the kids either.
I smiled at her in the rearview mirror and said, "You know what?! This year, Lily is still really little and she's not going to know what's going on, but NEXT year when you'll be here to wake up with us, she'll be almost 1 & 1/2 and more aware and excited, so it's PERFECT that you'll be here to wake up with all of us then!"
She smiled and said, "Yeah."
I just try to make the best out of it for them because truth be told, of course she wants to be in both places at the same time...just as Andrew wants to be with all of his family.
I've learned through Andrew as he's gotten older, he's in a place of some acceptance.
For example, he accepts that his Christmas break from school is spent with his dad each year. He looks forward to visiting his grandparents, aunt and uncle and cousins during that time too. Does it suck for me sometimes? Yep. I don't get any time with him when he's out of school. However, it simply is the way it is. And he deserves to look forward to those times with his dad and that part of his family because he needs all of us.
I haven't welcomed in the New Year with my son in person since 2003.
And the funny thing about my son is, he is NOT a phone person. I'll get a quick, "Happy New Year" from a grumpy, tired boy who's probably thinking, "Sheesh my mom is really annoying with all this sappy holiday crap," but I know for certain if I didn't call, I'd break his heart. So, I accept the grumpy boy on the other end of the line at midnight and he accepts the sappy mom and that's how we ring in the new year together. :)
Andrew's schedule is much different than Reagan's and this year at Christmas we have less than 24 hours together with all 5 of us.
Which makes it hard....for Santa too. And my son is still teetering on the edge of believing and not believing...so there's another element to take into consideration. I'm thinking this year will be the final year for him.
Do you make one kid wait until after noon to open gifts to all be together? Or do you make one kid open presents esentially alone after we have spent the morning doing it all together? It's pretty much a crap decision. So, I'm working on a way to make it work for both of them.
We ensured all 5 of us were able to pick out our Christmas tree together this past weekend and we'll hold off on decorating the tree until we're all together. It's just something we've grown to become accustomed to and not try to cram everything into one day. It wasn't realistic with the kids' schedules Saturday to pick out the tree, get it home and set up in the house AND decorate it.
It isn't an ideal situation, but we make it work. :)
We are all very excited about Lily's 1st Christmas and more of the magic she's brought into our lives. ♥