Where did the year go? Seriously, it was this time last year when we found out we were pregnant. Jason had just been laid off and the blessing of the pregnancy was lost in the worry over finacnes and the holidays and the worry of another miscarriage and all of that. Now, we have 2 gorgeous babies to share the holiday with. The money worries are still there. Jason is working again, but for less money and less hours and my child support was cut in 1/2 because my ex lost his job too. We're making it through with help from family and friends and by continuing to believe that tomorrow is always worth going through what today has given us.
This past year has taught me something about pride and thankfulness. About swallowing pride and accepting the help and love that others want to give you when they see that you need it. Humans are a community animal. We need and thrive with others around. It stands to reason that we have it built in to us to offer help and hope and caring when we see that those around us are in need of it. Pride tends to make us say no to those offers. "Oh, we're fine, we don't need that" when in fact we do. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is simply say "Thank you, I appreciate that, it really does help."
The twins have taught me so much about accepting help. I'll be the first to admit that I simply can not care for 2 young babies by myself. Very often they will both need something at the same time and I'm only one person. Or I'll be busy taking care of Izzy or working with one of the other kids and one or both babies will need something. I will say I'm glad that the twins were our grand finale and not the 1st act. I think it makes it less intimidating. If I were not willing to accept help, I'd honestly never sleep. I'm not sure when I would eat or use the bathroom either. And the older kids would run the streets for lack of supervision and parenting.
I have a lot of pics to post that were taken toward the end of November. I got in to a bit of a depressive funk and I just didn't do much of anything than goof off on facebook or one of the message boards I belong too. I was also trying to spend less time on the computer. All the reminders of Christmas and how we just wouldn't be able to do anything for the kids were just too hurtful. Hurtful to that pride. To my sense of responsibility.
Jason figured out how to have Christmas for the kids AND be able to pay the bills and to those helping us with that, thank you. I don't know when we'll be able to repay you, but I want you to know it is appreciated. I told everyone in my family back in October that if it can't be made at home, it's not being a gift this year. I'm sticking to that statement. We have a lot of stuff around here that can be made in to some really great gifts. Homeschool for the next couple of weeks will be focusing on that.
With this being a predominantly Christian holiday I struggle to find the meaning for myself in all of it. For us, it's not the celebration of a past religious leader. Unfortunately, I alson don't know what it IS. Many people have suggested finding the "reason for the season". I want to share with my children the reason. For it to have more meaning than just going and "being beggars" to our family members as I so crudely put it a couple of weeks ago (in a conversation with Jason). I want to discover why it is that WE give gifts to the children. What makes it special for us.
I don't want the kids to grow up as godless heathens with no belief system. The belief system is part of the conscience. After all, it's part of the right/wrong thinking. This country (being the United States) was founded on the Christian belief system. I find many of the teachings are good and sound. Those also happen to be the teachings that overlap with other religions. My difficulties have always come about when it means excluding others because of differences, however that is another post for a different day.
I believe in a higher power. Not specifically male or female, but I think both. I don't think just male or female alone can create equality, it needs to be both, and not necessarily in the same "being". I believe that you accept others for who they are, no matter how different it is from yourself. Differences can be good, but should also be looked at as positives, not negatives. My prejudices are close mindedness and self induced stupidity. You can be anyone from anywhere having lived any life to posess those qualities. I will admit to having the standard "American" pull yourself up by your bootstraps mentality. I firmly believe that if you want to do it, you CAN do it.
How does all of that convey in to a season that is presented as one of greed and self centeredness? Why do I have a sense of guilt for not being able to provide presents for under our tree what I believe doesn't even follow those same lines? How can I teach my children the meaning of the season, the magic of it all, when I just don't see it myself? My children know there is no Santa. They've always known that. I've never carried out that myth. The same with the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. I don't remember believing in those as a child. I don't remember them as magical and fun filled.
I do know my mom arranged to have our presents put under our tree while we were snowed in 2 hours south at my Grandpa's house. To this day, she STILL won't tell us how she did it. I was about 6 when she did it. She left a note under Grandpa's tree, in her handwriting (I knew it was her's, she tried to pass it off as "Mrs. Claus" writes all of Santa's notes) that our gifts were waiting, and they were. Every way that I've guessed that she could have done it she denies. Is that the magic? I think of it more like a riddle or a puzzle needing to be solved.
I understand why people have faith when times are difficult. It helps to have the belief that somehow you will get through. That the prayer will bring you the answer. I think all of that, but I don't credit it to a higher power. The credit is for those who are doing the living, not those who do the observing. I am the one waking each day and making the best of the day that I can. Some days are more trying than others for various reasons, but at the end of it, when I go to bed, I know I tried my best with what I was dealt. I'm always thankful for another chance to do it again.
So is there a point to this long ramble? I suppose so. It's to say thank you to all of you who have helped us in the past year especially, and continue to do so. It's to say that accepting help is a hard pill to swallow because pride gets in the way. It's to say I need to find a reason for the season so that I have some kind of belief to give to my children. I think they need the direction as much as I do.
Prayers and blessings everyone. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I'm hoping that you all have your reasons for the season and are able to swallow the help pill without pride choking you up.