During the month of December, I’m going to share some of my Christmas fiascos and failures. I won’t retell the story of Hubby leaving the gas pump in the car when he drove off but you can read it here. Hopefully, the stories will not only make you feel better about yourself and your family but also remind you what is important during the holiday season.
I took this picture at the Denver airport recently because it reminded me of a story…
Imagine a young mom flying without her husband across the country at Christmastime with two little girls. Imagine that young mom is me – or was.
When my girls were little, I traveled from Texas to my parents’ home in Boise, Idaho twice a year with the girls – sans Hubby. I wanted to go “home” the day they got out of school and stay until they went back so that meant I had to wrangle the girls on a plane by myself. And this was before the days of iPads and other gadgets to keep them occupied. Just me, the girls and their little backpacks filled with toys of their choice.
Since the airports were busy, I liked to dress them in matching outfits so they’d be easier to keep track of and hopefully garner some sympathy from others as I herded them through the airports. At Christmastime, I usually made us matching outfits. One year, I made cute Christmas vests for my girls that they wore with a turtleneck and leggings.
We were on the plane from Houston to Denver when my most wiggly daughter asked for a Sprite in a cup. I knew it was a bad idea but also knew the fight she would give me would be worse. So I let her have one after giving all of the warnings and directions about sitting still and not bumping her tray.
Note: for you youngster moms reading this, you need to know we didn’t have the newfangled bottles like Hydro Flasks. We had sippy cups until they drank out of regular cups. We didn’t travel with our personal bottles with pop up straws. For you moms my age, can I get an Amen?
So on the plane, I let my 6 year old have a plastic cup of Sprite – against my better judgment. It didn’t take but about 90 seconds for my wiggly daughter to bump the tray and send her whole cup of ice and Sprite into her seat. On her and under her. I immediately went into SuperMom mode and mopped up all the spilled drink I could.
Wiggly daughter was not happy her pants were soaked. I wasn’t happy either.
Thankfully, we landed soon and we went straight to the restroom. We had a two-hour layover and another two-hour flight so I was on a mission to get the pants dry.
Now imagine a pregnant mom standing in an airport bathroom with a pile of carryon bags on the floor, a 4 year old with her thumb in her mouth silently watching and another little girl standing as close to her mom as possible with her turtleneck shirt pulled down to dress length so her panties didn’t show while the mom held her leggings under the hand dryer.
Good thing I had them dressed in cute matching Christmas vests.
Women came in and out. Glanced our way. Some looked embarrassed and some looked sympathetic. Merry Christmas!
In that moment, I was an exasperated mom. I wanted to show up to my Mother’s house with my daughters cutely dressed. Instead I arrived tired and flustered with a sticky legged, soggy pants daughter. But we were together for Christmas (Hubby arrived a few days later.) Clothes can be washed and naps cure a multitude of ailments – like grouchy attitudes.
As we hustle and bustle around this holiday season, can I encourage you to take the time to remember what is important? Take time to remember why we put up a tree or set out the menorah, buy presents and gather with loved ones. Concentrate on what IS important and let go of what isn’t.
My reason: Jesus
But the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior – yes, the Messiah, the Lord – has been born today in Bethlehem,the city of David! Luke 2:10-11
Note – that is the actual dryer I used all those years ago.
Remember to reflect as you hustle and bustle.
Cathy Cunningham says
Amen!! Thanks for the reminder. ‘Focus’ is a challenge for some of us – adults and children. There is so much ‘stuff’ distracting us from the meaning of Christmas. I’m making the conscious choice to have Jesus as my focus this Christmas season.
With my wonderful daughter life is one excitement and thrilling day.
Steve Sweat says
I so loved this story Shelly. It’s funny that I was able to see everything so clearly as I read. Glad to have known your family back then. 💚