I’ve been up for almost two hours and everyone else is still in bed. Part of me was annoyed that my body woke up at 6am, but the rest of me was glad to have the time alone. I love being with my family, but also need time by myself. Growing up, we lived in the country and there were only four houses on our mile stretch. My sister was five and a half years older than me and consequently we didn’t hang out a lot, so I became quite comfortable with my own company and now time by myself is needed.
Family gatherings went well and this year we weren’t the first to leave. We had two free nights in a hotel, so DH suggested we stay over and extend the visit. There is only room for one family to stay at Mom’s comfortably so we usually just go for the day when my sister’s family is there. Staying the extra time also allowed us to go to a nearby light display. We used to go with my parents at Thanksgiving, but when Dad died, Mom changed her traditions to help get through the grieving so it’s been several years since we last went.
My youngest nephew was a bit less obnoxious, but still asking for “Presents?” as often as our four year old cousin(nephew is 12). I can see the logical path that probably led my nephew to be so in-your-face annoying, but he’s still tough to be around. His older brothers were his summer baby sitters – eight year age difference – and probably ignored him as much as they could. My guess is that he had to be over the top to get their attention. I’m sure he was in his brothers’ care as the most viable solution for summer care while both sis and BIL worked full time and weren’t rolling in cash, but I think the results are showing. Hopefully he’ll mellow as time marches forward.
We got back from our brief visit yesterday afternoon, so laundry is going full tilt and this morning I need to go to the grocery store. I was going to go first thing when I got up, but decided to wait and take the kids to shop with their gift cards. It didn’t make sense to make two trips. Two of the three kiddos got all of their thank you’s finished last night. I may have to push the third a little as she’s luxuriating in being back home. When they were really young, we had to threaten to send the gifts back a couple of times. Writing isn’t easy for two of them, but writing thank you’s is too important to let slide.
I was noticing age catching up with my eldest aunt and I don’t like it. She was stumbling as she came into Mom’s condo, and it just really struck me. (Don’t you know that I’m still the youngest pest of a cousin with my older cousins still in high school?) She’s 78 now, and on my Dad’s side his older brother is 81. Time marches forward and it stinks to see. My mom is 76, and I worry about her getting a major illness. Losing my Dad was a blow – they were married 52 years – then my sister died two years later. I don’t think she’d have enough fight in her to pull through something serious, even though she’s quite healthy. DH pointed out that I should ask for a key to her condo, in case anything should happen and we need access. (If she’s in the hospital and we need to get clothes for her, or a similar situation).
Today I also need to get DD2 doing schoolwork again. She didn’t finish her work before break, so up through Christmas Eve I’d have her do one assignment a day. She got Christmas through yesterday off and now needs to get back to it. I don’t know what it is about this time of year, but she consistently falls behind in the December-January time frame. The great thing about home school is that there are times when she can work ahead and get to a break early. The stinker is that her teacher can enforce work through her break when needed. I’m just giving her one assignment a day. I want her to keep working to catch up while still getting the majority of her break.