This is the first holiday since the Cuters were toddlers which will include no electronics. There are no DVD's, no computer games, no remote controlled vehicles - neither airborne nor with wheels. I have no small devices which require arcane sizes of batteries which I usually forget to buy.
I'm not complaining. I'm just noticing.
Once again this year, Little Cuter asked for UGGS for Christmas and once again we tried to order them on-line and once again that didn't happen so now it's cold and snowy in Chicago and it's too cold for her to leave her apartment and go to the store and get them. Seriously. I'm so glad she'll be coming home to warm up.
Big Cuter is watching his hapless 49'ers on Thursday Night Football as his adoring father watches him watch them. I'm surrounded by boys being boys. The balance is shifting and now there are two of them and the house just feels different.
Again, I'm not complaining. I'm just noticing.
The lights are on the tree and there are boxes of ornaments on the shelf and I am enjoying the couch and talking to you. I'm taking a break from elfing tonight. I have to pace myself as we round the corner and head for home.
I have a long set of lights on an 8-function switch. This is exactly the kind of thing that appeals to me as Daddooooo's daughter; it's such a geeky thing. I had it set on migraine-inducing-ever-increasing speed until the fans grew concerned. I gave in and chose a gentler setting.
Why did I think of it as giving in? It's because of the rule we have about decorating at this time of year, a rule devised by Big Cuter several years ago as a means of negotiating a truce between his parents, one of whom was about to launch the heaviest object she could lift at the head of the on-the-couch other. The rule is simple: If you are not going to help, you can't give advice. You can only give compliments.
There are far fewer conversations which end in aggravation since we've adopted this credo. I give it to you with love and affection.
Big Cuter came with me to my last class on Wednesday. There were 17 of us sitting in a circle discussing The Poem of The Cid and the nature of the heroic epic and I was, once again, enjoying the fruits of the education for which I paid. Many of us will be together in Morality and Religion in Early Modern Europe in the Spring term. We're reading British Moralists - Thomas Hobbes, David Hume and John Locke. I've done it before and I'm amazed that I'm doing it again; these are not the easiest tomes I've tried. But for two hours every Tuesday I'll try to stretch my brain. I'll keep you posted.
For now, though, I am going to enjoy my ornament-less tree and my son's scoreless football team and the fact that my daughter is considered a powerful force in her organization, according to her annual review. I'm going to revel in the thank you's for my brownies which have been arriving in a steady stream of love and friendship and smiles. This is my favorite time of year and nothing is going to make me sad.