What a day I had yesterday! Owen woke up throwing up about 4:00 in the morning, and basically did not stop until last night. Poor little guy had projectile bodily fluids coming out of every possible orifice all day long. In between bouts of throwing up (which would also trigger a diaper explosion; poor thing, his bum was just raw yesterday), he dozed, or would even get up and play for a little while, and in the meantime I did laundry (Okay, so I know he is only 2.5, but is there a reason that he just can't hit the goddamned puke bucket? Even when I help him, he still gets it everywhere) and dishes and whatever it is that people who are home all day do. We have piles-literally-of clean laundry that just doesn't get folded, so I made a dent in that at least-progress is good, however little.
Jacquie came over to be with Owen so the older kids and I could make it to the graduation ceremony of the class. It was open to families, so Sam was able to go with us and have dinner, etc... I am really, really glad it is over, for a variety of reasons. All of the kids stood up and did a little speech they had written on a virtue, and let me tell you, the ones Hannah and Eli did totally kicked ass. Of course I would say that. being their mom, but I would have thought so even had I not birthed them. I will admit that since the majority of the other kids in the class are barely literate, maybe it wasn't so hard, but the two of them really did shine (and to be fair, another young woman who has been coming to the class alone as neither of her parents give a shit did an excellent job; she wrote a poem that was lovely). So we heard those, dutifully clapped, got our certificates (okay, I will admit to a certain amount of secret glee when we all got the fancy certificates saying that we passed the class. Even though we couldn't really NOT pass.), and were out of there by about 7:30. The head lady of the class, the one to whom I sent the email, actually gave me a partial refund for the fees, and all the facilitators gave all of us a big hug. Which isn't necessarily something I felt comfortable with, but meh, whatever. So I got money back, a certificate, AND got felt up by a group of women-almost sounds like some porn movie, doesn't it?
I digress. After the class we had all this extra time (frankly, I wasn't quite ready to go home and deal with the O.) so we drove around a looked at Christmas lights while playing holiday music. This used to be our tradition when it was just the four of us, after the separation from the ex; we would fill in the long evening hours when we weren't sure what to do with ourselves by driving around and looking at lights. It has since become a tradition of sorts, and last night was really the first time so far that I have felt the spirit of Christmas move me. I mean, it hasn't been terrible like I was worried about, FAR from it, but I haven't really felt that excitement I am used to feeling. However, last night as we were driving around and looking at the displays and planning the menu for the day, I felt it start to trickle in. Still there today, too, and I feel grateful. I am truly getting every single thing I want, in fact I already HAVE-I will be spending it with some of the most important people in my life, I get to cook a lovely meal, and we will have enough , so I can just sit back and enjoy as many moments as I can. It feels real to me, finally.
I went to tuck Sam in last night, though, and I found him crying; it just broke my heart. I know the holidays in general are a little hard on him-he hears Steve and I talking about when he will pick Owen up to go eat with his family, and he hears Hannah and Eli talking to their dad, and I know he misses the one huge thing that is missing in his life. He still can't quite articulate it other than to say how much he HATES his dad, but I know the problem isn't that he hates his dad, it is that he misses him so much that it hurts. I hate it because I can't fix it for him, either. I can and do provide positive males to hang around, he has a group of people who love him totally and completely, but none of them are his father. I did the only thing I could think of to do, which was to talk about this recipe that just he and I are making to take to Steve's on Christmas Eve for dessert(flour less chocolate cupcakes with a dollop of whipped cream in the middle), and to rub his sharp little shoulder blades and sing to him. God, it just isn't enough, but it is what I can do. Talk about feeling helpless and inadequate. I know that most of the time he does pretty okay; birthdays and holidays are the worst, but it still hurts me to know that all I can really do is help him weather the storm.
Still, all in all, it is a good day. I came in this morning to find an email from someone I had been thinking about and worried about, someone I care about a lot, so that was both a pleasure AND a relief. It isn't snowing here but it is a LOT warmer than it has been, a whopping 22 degrees. We get to go to a neighboring town tomorrow to get the fixings for our feast, and for the moment, I am feeling pretty contented. thanks to all of you who have helped me get here, on a lot of different levels.