From the Mommy Files…

Archive for December 2011

This Christmas has come and gone.

So many preparations 

And it goes by way too fast.

We get caught up in the shopping and the presents,

The cooking and the cleaning.

Do we stop to think about what Christmas is truly about?

Boo, our almost-5-year-old, continued to remind us of the true meaning of Christmas.

During the Advent season, one day she came home to announce that Christmas is Jesus’ birthday.

Boo: Mom, did you know that Christmas is Jesus’ birthday?

Mom: Yes.

Boo: What a great celebration! What do we get Him for his birthday?

Mom: The greatest gift we can give Him is to be good people and to love each other.

Boo: I can do that!

As we set out the decorations, she took each Nativity scene out of its box, took the Baby Jesus and spoke to it.

Boo: Your birthday is coming Baby Jesus! We will get You a good gift!

Then every day as she walked passed one, she’d say, “Happy Birthday Christouli (Jesus)!”

The day before Christmas Eve, she was sitting, eating breakfast.

We were about to go upstairs to get ready for school, when she shouted out.

Boo: Mom! Skywriters!

(Have you ever seen the lines in the sky created by airplane exhaust? When I was a kid, we called them skywriters, and always looked to see if there was a message. I told my daughter this.)

Mom: Is there a message?

Boo: Come quick! It’s a stavro (Greek for cross)!

I went to the window, and sure enough, there was a huge white cross in the sky.

Mom: It’s a message!

Boo: It’s a message from Jesus, to remind us what Christmas is all about! Happy Birthday Jesus!

I got chills when it happened, and I’m getting chills as I type this.

A message from God.

Always pretty amazing when that happens.

Fast forward to Christmas Eve night.

Boo never ceases to amaze me – what a thoughtful, sensitive, sweet and caring little girl.

I always tell her that her heart is ten times too big.

We were getting into our car to go home, and she looked up and noticed a lot of stars in the sky.

In the city, we don’t see many stars.

She was fascinated.

One was really bright.

Dad: Could that be Santa?

Boo: No. I think it’s Christouli.

She stopped, looked up, and clasped her hands together to pray. 

Boo: Dear Christouli. Happy Birthday! I hope we all have a wonderful Christmas! Let’s have a great day! I love you!

I thought I’d cry. It was so beautiful.

Then she told us that the Three Wise Men followed the star to find the Baby Jesus.

That star followed us all the way home.

You might say it was an airplane.

Some may say it’s a little girl’s imagination.

Even four year-old’s know the true meaning of Christmas.

Do we?

Even when she got caught up in her presents, a few moments later, she would speak about Jesus.

A four year-old knows, remembers.

Do we?

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OK, before you start the chorus of Bonnie Tyler’s “Holding out for a Hero…”

I can hear you…

“Where have all the good men gone…”

I’m not talking about those princes…

I’m talking about DISNEY princes.

Princesses are EVERYWHERE.

Where are the princes?

And I mean everywhere.

Princess dolls, accessories, panties, clothes, towels, sheets, blankets, cups, plates – you name it.

I didn’t realize the void in the prince department, until one day Boo happened to bring it to my attention.

I went into her room, and a handful of her dolls were naked.

Yup, no clothes.

Not a stitch.

I told her the “girls” would get cold and she needed to dress them.

“No Mommy. They have no dresses because they are pretending to be boys. We don’t have any boys. They are the princes.”

I started thinking.

I don’t know that I had ever seen a PRINCE doll to that point.

So is the prince considered not necessary?

I thought to myself, I’d keep an eye out for a prince doll, or heck, even a Ken doll.

Man! Even Ken is hard to find too!

When the girls saw “Toy Story” with Ken, they asked again why there were no boy dolls.

I don’t know.

I guess boys aren’t interested in them and so the doll manufacturers figure it’s not a big deal.

Or maybe they figure the whole princess fantasy thing is enough, or perhaps it has something to do with the entire “bride” thing.

You know how from little girls we had this image of our wedding, and we made plans…

The entire thing was planned in your mind, and then it was just “insert groom” when you found him?

Maybe that’s it!

Snow White's Nameless Prince

They think it’s all about the princess fantasy thing, and the prince isn’t so important.

I beg to differ.

The prince is part of the fantasy.

In many of these stories, the princess is rescued.

In some, the PRINCE is rescued.

Needless to say, it’s about a love story, right?

Can’t have a prince and princess love story with a princess and an imaginary prince.

As the girls prepared their Christmas lists, Boo brought up the subject again.

“How do you spell ‘prince?’” she asked.

I told her, and asked which prince.

“Well, Sleeping Beauty has Philip, Belle has the Beast, Rapunzel has Flynn, Ariel has Eric, Jasmine has Aladdin, Tiana has Nuveen…”

Was I to get all of them?

I asked about Snow White and Cinderella.

“Oh, their princes don’t have names.”

So are they not important?

Why are these princes nameless?

Boo said she would give them names and she’d get back to me.

So I began my quest for a prince.

A doll, people!

Target? Nope.

Toys R Us? Nope.

A search of other stores allotted a total of zero princes.

Where are all the princes?!

I didn’t remember seeing prince dolls at Disneyland, but I thought, if the princes would be anywhere, they’d be at the Disney Store.

I went to the website, and sure enough, there were the princes, carefully tucked away, sheltered from the masses.

There were all the ones Boo mentioned: Eric, Beast, Aladdin, Nuveen, Philip.

Even a prince for Mulan!

Cinderella’s prince was there too – called Prince Charming, but basically nameless.

Ditto for Snow White’s prince.

Huh? Snow White would still be in her glass coffin if not for the prince!

Hmmm…. I just had a thought.

Are these princes nameless so we can later make them the princes in our own personal fairytale?

Maybe the original storytellers were on to something?

But I digress.

I found the princes.

I’m off to the Disney Store.

Sorry, but I can’t tell you where the real princes are.

If you find some, let me know.

I have some single friends.

Merry PRINCE and princess fairytales!

You know you’ve got it too.

Why do we do this to ourselves?

The truth is, I don’t know if we always realize we are doing this.

We take on so much.

Often more than we can possibly handle.

And we stress ourselves out.

So why do we do this?

I wonder…

Do we do it because we want to be helpful?

Because we don’t realize the time commitment?

Because we can’t say no?

Because we think we can juggle everything?

Because we are afraid we won’t be liked?

Because we think we have superhuman powers?

Well, we all have a bit of the Supermom Syndrome.

You know what I’m talking about.

We take on way too much and then we are always frazzled because nothing is done and nothing is done right.

Why do we do this to ourselves?

I wonder if we just don’t know that we are doing it.

Perhaps it’s a little bit of all those reasons.

What I do know is that I did it to myself again.

How much can one person possibly do?

When we take on too much, we can’t put the effort that we like to put into things.

We aren’t superhuman.

Time to retool, redefine, restructure.

Time to learn to say NO.

You’re shaking your head.

You’re saying “Yeah right.”

Guilty.

Once again.

Time to retool, redefine, restructure.

Time to learn to say NO.

Ok, this is my new mantra.

I’m going to repeat it over and over again.

I’m going to be lean and mean.

Well, you know what I’m trying to say.

I have to set boundaries and keep them.

Priorities are priorities.

The rest is secondary.

Here’s a New Year’s resolution for you.

I know you’re right there with me.

We’ll all retire our capes together.

Before it retires us.

We can’t save the world.

We can save our sanity and the peace in our homes.

OK. One more time.

Repeat after me.

It’s time to retool, redefine, restructure.

I WILL say no to all that stuff that I shouldn’t be doing, and what gets in the way of my priorities.

I don’t need to be a super hero.

With this weight off my shoulders, I can excel at what I really feel is important.

Great!

Repeat! Repeat! Repeat!

I know I can, I know I can, I know I can!

We’ll have to check in on each other from time to time and make sure we aren’t overwhelming ourselves again.

It’s such a bad habit.

And so bad for our overall health and well being.

Yes. It will kill you before your time.

Not to mention the sanity in our families.

OK!

Take that cape and RIP it to shreds.

It’ll help you get out some frustration, too.

Go on.

Throw that cape in the fire.

It’s over.

We are only human.


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BooBoo BeDoux

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