Typically I take the week preceding Christmas off from work each year to prepare for the holiday. Unless I’ve gone full blown online retail hopping, it’s hard to finish up shopping and the million other to-dos on the list.
It’s also a chance for MC, my four year old wee man, to take life at a slower pace. I didn’t have to drag him out of bed in the morning to go to preschool. I didn’t have to force feed him breakfast so that I knew he wouldn’t be hungry if he decided to be especially picky about lunch that day. I dropped him off late and I picked him up early, but I did send him in to school each day…for a reason.
You see, MC is a highly sensitive little soul — and he thrives on routine. We consulted professionals on how best to help him adapt to school — keeping in mind he has been on the daycare side of the same preschool since he was three months old — and five full days was the overwhelming recommendation. That being said, when my hubs and I went back to work the day after Christmas, I had never really given it a second thought to keep him home. Many companies are closed (ours are not) and schools are out, so I’m not sure why I was surprised when he was one of three children in attendance out of 20 on December 26th. Three, including him.
As we received updates from the school throughout the day on their app (OMG, I love that thing!), I noticed he was mostly alone or always at a different table instead of his assigned seat. I know that he received more direct attention from teachers than he would have in a full room, but I couldn’t help but feel like I put my job and preparing for the holiday before my child. And I felt like a monster.
He loves school. He loves his teachers. He loves me. In the end, he was fine. The experience was definitely a game-changer for me, though. Next year, I will strive to do more early for the holidays instead of making every effort to please others with weekend commitments and holiday parties. Next year, I will bookend the Christmas holiday with vacation days, or alternate days off with my husband or our parents so he gets more time off. Next year, I’ll worry less about THINGS I should do and focus more on the PEOPLE that matter. After all, that’s what the holidays are all about.
Now, on to figuring out what to do with all these new toys…..