Wednesday, January 9, 2013

I'm about to shove that book up your...::Merry Christmas::

I think I mentioned that this was the strangest Christmas ever here in the land of Robin.  What with the move at the end November, there just was NO time for Christmas shopping, decorating, gifting, etc.  We let everyone know that we simply were not gifting this year.  We LOVED everyone just as much as ever, but we were stretched and stressed out. 

With this in mind, I knew it would make for a bizarre-o Christmas for H-Girl and C-Man.  I used to be The Gifter like that insane woman in the commercial who buys buys buys.  Yes, I was a Dream Come True for a kid.  I loved Christmas as a kid and I wanted them to love it, too.  I wanted them to have all of my traditions and  As it turns out, my ex had tons of traditions of his own, and his family had lots of love to give, too.  So, they were WELL LOVED on Christmas.  By Christmas afternoon they went into Christmas shell-shock.  And still the gifts kept coming.  So much family dysfunction.  So many divorces.  So many relatives.  So much LOVE.

After my ex and I divorced, I decided that it was a good thing when I moved to FL, and I actually did Christmas with them in January.  They had a few weeks to come off the Christmas high.  I also decided, at long last, to tone it down somewhat.  A serious lack of finances will do that to you.  Add to that the realization that all of that STUFF wasn't actually making them better people.  Go figure.  Did you know that more stuff in the hands of children does not equate to a better child?  Seriously.  I have seen the results.  It is fact.

However, I knew that "no gifts this year" would not make me the best non-mom ever.  So, I decided, as I was packing up my stuff, to go through it and give them the gift of me.  Stuff I would like them to have maybe a little sooner than I intended.  Or stuff that I thought they would like that was currently mine.  It turned out that this was easier for H-Girl than C-Man since we are both... girls.  I did luck up and find the comforter that I bought for C-Man back when I was planning on redecorating his room WAY back in the day.  As in back when he lived with me.  Yeah, that was in storage a long time.  Fortunately, I chose something that was suitable for a boy of any age.  Lucky me.  The rest of the boy stuff looked a lot like this:

In addition to the novels, I did find a book on Astronomy to mix it up.  And I also found some "really old" books that I thought were interesting, simply because they were the first books I bought with my own money from Scholastic Book Services.  Ergo, they were important to me.  I also found a Neil Simon play because the kid showed some interest in drama at school last year.  However, I should have realized that he had totally lost all interest in reading and this was NOT going to be a hit when he was not happy about his birthday present (another book) that I had shipped to him earlier in December.  He was less than thrilled to get it. 

When I saw him he still had not read it.  So, I should have known that this bounty of books was going to go over like... well, a bad smell.  What did he say about my precious books, that I had so valiantly saved because they were my first ever book purchases?  "Oooh, they are old.  Look at the pages.  They are yellowing.  What is the copyright date on this?  1981.  Mommy, you are REALLY OLD." 

He had been quoting from the Neil Simon play as he was flipping through it earlier.  I hadn't really looked at it as thoroughly as I should have, and Mr. Simon used the sh*t word quite frequently.  C-Man found this to be rather amusing.  He substituted poop and kept quoting from the play.  One of the lines was about shoving something up someone's something.  I then told C-Man if he didn't lay off my book I was going to shove it up his ::something::  Merry Freaking Christmas.

Ironically, this story usually plays the other way.  Usually C-Man is a darling and H-Girl has me pulling my hair.  H-Girl was a delight.  She loved all of her hair things, fingernail polish, pedicure kit, the tiara I gave her from when I married her dad (let's face it, I won't be using that again), some purses, a tye-dye kit, some pictures in frames from when she and her brother were younger, and bracelets like these that I made when I was a camp counselor:

Those she really loved.  None of mine had the cool peace sign, but she REALLY liked them, and she thought it was pretty awesome that I knew how to make them.  I think I went up a notch.

I also gave C-Man all of my favorite cartoons that I had cut out from the newspaper and saved from the 80s.  I don't think it even registered.  He is hording that along with my treasured Calvin and Hobbes Book that was a collector's item. I gave that to him last year.  He probably lost it.  I would ask, but I just don't want to hear him tell me that he has "no idea" where it is.  I'd hate to lose control of my arm and accidentally clock him in the jaw.

My doctor told me this last visit that my stress is way too high.  She says that I need to do one hour of meditation daily.  I think she's right.

images found at


  1. Kids grow up, and then they appreciate things they may cast aside when they are younger. Sometimes it just takes patience. Later they will recognize the thought that went into these gifts which is the most important thing, after all.

    1. Liza, I hope that you right about that. I did my best to exercise patience while I was with them. Rather, with C-Man. In this case, H-Girl was lovely. I had the sense that he was "turned off" and I was afraid that not much was penetrating that thick skull. However, he proved me wrong on that score several times when he was a very young child, so it is possible that more was getting through than it seemed. He was strongly radiating dissatisfaction over all of the books. Sometime in the last year he had become disinterested in reading because it was "boring" and I hadn't kept up.

      Sigh. Teenagers are hard. Can you believe he is 15 now? Newly 15, but still...

  2. I hope those books get re-gifted to me! I never seem to get stressed. You can try daily meditation. As an alternative, keep hitting yourself in the head with a hammer. Your choice. Me? I meditate, then I join the dysfunctional world.

    1. I can see C-Man possibly re-gifting them back to me! If so, I will re-gift them to you:)

      I do think the meditation is working. I am feeling less stressed. I have reached the place (in a fairly short time... for me) of being far less upset about this whole thing. When I can see it as a lesson for all of us, me included, I settle right down. I think the lessons here were layered and I am only seeing bits and pieces, but it is enough for me to let it all go. And the fact that H-Girl and I had such a BETTER Christmas event was worth the disappointment. So, I wouldn't trade it.

      This life is crazy but it does have many JOYS in it. And why focus on the sadness when the joy is so much better?

  3. The books were a great gift. Maybe it is a phase he is going through. I would hope it was just a phase and not that he is learning to be unappreciative of a kind gesture. I definitely agree with your Dr. on the meditation! Great post!

    1. GG, I posted again on this topic (see Christmas Reloaded), and I hope you are right. I have come to think that the thing to take away from this is the good stuff (H-Girl's positive reaction being primary) and hope for the best with C-Man. I also learned that giving the things that YOU LOVED most doesn't always the best gift make. You feel like you are giving away a part of yourself, so it feels supremely personal when someone doesn't like it... That really isn't a fair scenario for anyone...

      Obviously, the meditation is helping:)


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