Cathy Cantu - The Frazzled Mom
It really chaps my chestnuts when friends send Christmas cards including brag-letters about their amazing trips. I never go anywhere cool. My cultural awareness consists of the time Layna and I happened to be at Nuttin’ But Beer ‘n Wings on “Chug Around the World” night.
At Christmas, friends who are normal all year lose their humble filter and send beautiful pictures of themselves on gondolas in Venice and dubious ones of their kids hugging and smiling after the ten-hour flight. Please. I could Photoshop too, but I spend all my time not cleaning out from behind the dryer.
Here’s an example of holiday brag-mail:
“This year Barbie challenged Babs that if she maintained a 4.0 GPA all year, Barbie would reward her with a trip to Paris! Her average was a 4.3 so the clan donned their berets and hopped on a plane! They saw the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, and Barbie discovered she loves champagne and that French people are very nice! In fact, after several glasses of bubbly, she danced the Can-Can at the Moulin Rouge and several guys gave her very friendly hugs! Ken bought some manly skinny jeans, and Kenny Jr. wants to pursue an internship in the French Quarter in ‘Nawlins! Babs was disappointed that no restaurants served “French” fries though! hee hee!”
Reading it, I wished I’d skipped the cheesy burrito for lunch. Just take away my wine and shoot me now if someone uses seven exclamation points in a row and says “donned,” because that’s kind of bizarro unless you’re J. K. Rowling or you collect Lord of the Rings paraphernalia.
Why can’t I take a week off and travel to beautiful places? Because my fingers are flitting over a keyboard at midnight, editing my kid’s paper on why Zeus and Aphrodite wound up inside the Trojan Horse or something. Meanwhile, the hands of Edwardo, the hot masseuse, are flitting over my friend’s back in Italy as he coos, “Would you like a leeetle more warm oil, cara mia?”
I shouldn’t be jealous. I have everything I want. I ruminate on my blessings driving back from basketball camp in Chattanooga and shivering at the crack of dawn at soccer tournaments in Atlanta. Sometimes I’m so overwhelmed with thankfulness that I’d hit my knees there on the sideline if my rear wasn’t stuck to the bleachers.
But honestly, there’s nowhere I’d rather be. I’ll never have these days back with my kids, but Turks and Caicos will always be there. I’d rather watch my daughter play point guard than visit some Paradise Point. I’d rather see her perfect her rise ball than watch a sunrise in Oahu. And most of all, seeing my daughter’s embarrassment when I volunteer to have her Bible study at my house is priceless.
In the future I might make it to an exotic location, or maybe even to Dollywood for a Christmas show. But right now I’m enjoying watching my beautiful children put their old home-made (OK, school-made) ornaments on our tree. Someday when I land in Italy, I’m definitely looking up Edwardo .
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