The week between Christmas and New Year's is such a sacred time. Not in any sort of holy sense, of course, because really, the twelve days of Christmas should begin on December 14 and culminate on December 25, shouldn't they? There is absolutely no need to hear people on social media declaring this the fourth day of Christmas.
Christmas is over. I thought we were all in agreement on that point.
I have declared this a homeschool holiday week, freeing up so much time in my day that I have been able to appease my clients before dinnertime, squeeze in some bliss with my yoga mat before lunchtime, and find more time with my camera, and with words, throughout these slower-paced days.
The extra time to linger on the sofa with a cup of coffee (or four) in the morning infuses the rest of the day with a sense of time stretching out before us. And these children that we are raising take their cues from us, don't they? When the adults are moving too quickly, rushing to tick items from the to-do list, the kids feel it. In the absolute worst of ways. Unless I force myself to draw back a little, to find a way to calm rising emotions, behaviors spiral out of control, and we all end up edgy and uncomfortable.
Yesterday, I played music all afternoon, the sounds of Sarah McLachlan's soft, moody voice giving the house a restful vibe that carried over into a leisurely evening. Oh, to remember these little touches on the bad days. To know that the smallest turn of my own attention can bring everyone back to a place of ease. Even Princess Hazelnut was able to hone in on this tiny tactic this morning when she picked up on my own edginess and said, "Mama, maybe you should do yoga."
She was right. I found my breath slowing and deepening as I unrolled my mat. We anchor each other, this little family of mine.
And so the day moved. Slowly. Purposefully. With time to join an old friend for lunch, to catch up on lives and spouses and mutual friends and jobs and stories of where we now live, time to watch him interact so easily with my own children. It is one of the greatest and yet the strangest of feelings to join our old lives with our current ones, to see these friends from different phases of our youth in the same space of time in which we are now parents. The Boy Wonder picks my brain for days after time spent with my old friends, his seven years on this planet not quite enough to properly comprehend relationships that span decades, despite a thousand miles or more of geographic distance.
That is, I think, one of the great lessons we can share with our children. That we are all woven together with those whom we have befriended throughout our lives. That time and space do not sever these connections.
And so we drove slowly home, going ever-so-slightly out of our way to travel down my favorite road in town, and I returned back to my desk, to see what I could get done while the kids played happily outside. The Carnivore came home early, looking askance at me as he casually deposited a book into my hand on his way through my office.
A cookbook. One that I had been coveting since months before it's autumn release. One that I had been just maybe the tiniest bit grumpy to not find under the tree earlier this week.
Somehow, knowing that The Carnivore stopped by the author's house today to get it signed make it just that much more magical, I think. Yes, this is a sacred week.
Eat well. Be swell.