Ok, first off, I wish I wasn’t anxious and I wish I wasn’t feeling whiny. But I am and I do feel anxious and whiny. My shoulders hurt from stress and anxiety. I feel prickly and irritable. I would really prefer to withdraw and just hide in my house for a few more days. But it’s Christmas and that would be sad and somehow just wrong.
In an hour or two I’ll head a hundred miles south to visit my parents for the holiday. Grammy and I are tender with each other; we love each other very much, but I know we both are still hurt from our drama from the last few months. My new/refurbished cell phone doesn’t give off its own wifi signal so I can’t just hide in my old room and work on my dissertation. Going all the way there just to retreat to the Panera to practice overt avoidance doesn’t feel right. Maybe I’ll go visit a few friends.
Oy vey, I just realized that I didn’t get my godson a Christmas gift. Sigh…
Christmas afternoon I’ll head west to go visit Hope for all of one day (Thursday). I’ve spent the last week and a half trying to manage Christmas expectations. Interestingly, Hope asked for two sets of books and an Ipod Touch. Originally she asked for Beats by Dre headphones; I quickly explained that new mama didn’t believe in spending more than $10 on headphones, so $50-$200 were wholly out of the question. The Touch is really a no go at this point; although Hope will have internet access here I’ve found her not ready for it quite at the tip of her fingertips, especially if its portable. I’ve decided to bring her a pair of sneakers, the Bieber perfume and some gift cards that we can use when we go shopping that day.
She’s excited that I’m coming to visit. I’m anxious about her reaction when I get there; she’s been fickle since she’s returned. It’s probably good news; she goes monosyllabic on me like any other kid her age. She’s being normal in a most abnormal situation. Her behavior has been stellar since I took her home; no detentions, no suspensions; no visits to the principal’s office or notes home from teachers. I’m so proud of her. Of course, she’s highly motivated because of a deal I made about her getting a cellphone this spring if she could stay out of trouble. This brings me to my anxiety about this trip. I don’t want to do too much too soon, so I’ve kept the gifting light (especially since I have to carry this stuff). My family gifts but we tend to do just one or two gifts and that’s it. Of course we’ve not had a kid in the family for many years, so all of this is new. I also know that I need leverage and motivational points with Hope; this works with her in helping her be less impulsive.
I have to realize that I can’t control how Hope will react to the gifts I bring. I just need to spend time with my girl and try to have the best time I can with her for this expensive but short visit. I’ve got a house full of stuff for her, but I just want to mete it out over time on my terms rather than this huge explosion of gifts just because it’s Christmas.
I’m hopeful and prayerful that she will be home for good soon.
For now, I just want to get there, see her and give her a hug. That’s all I want for Christmas.