My family is very “artistic”. My grandma paints. My dad’s sister illustrated children’s books and made a cartoon featured in some newspapers. My dad writes music, plays guitar, and he does carvings that are very exclusive. I loved to draw. Specifically, charcoal drawings of faces. I used to do water color paintings, too. I haven’t painted or drawn in a long time. I lost all of my artwork that had been in competitions to a flood we had, years ago. I now enjoy doing makeup, hair, and nails. I do all my friends finger and toenails. I love to paint creative designs on them. I also cut hair. I’ve never been to beauty school, I just enjoy it, and I’m decent at it. I cut Adam and our kids’ hair. I’ve cut my sister’s hair. I cut Adam’s dad’s hair, when he was fighting cancer. I was so nervous, because I knew he was very particular about his hair, but he was happy with it.
I cut Adam’s hair, yesterday. I started to tell him “you look much…”, he said “younger?” To tell the truth, I was going to say more presentable, but yeah sure, let’s go with younger! I told Jackie about this, and she made a point to, casually, mention that he looked younger, with his hair cut. I think we made his Sunday!
I had worn Christmas colors, in my outfits, all weekend. I had watched a couple of Christmas themed movies. I’d started to plan our “25 Days of Christmas” activities. I was listening to my Christmas playlist, in the kitchen, Sunday afternoon. My son came in, and he made a comment, poking fun of me for my choice of music. This was one of many remarks made over the last several days by Adam and our kids. I guess I had just had enough, because it made me grumpy. I changed to a different playlist, not full of Christmas songs. I thought to myself, my family has successfully sucked the joy and excitement out of me. A few minutes later, Adam came in for something. He started to tease me, but it was obvious I wasn’t playing along. He asked me if I was grouchy? I told him yes. He asked me if a kiss would make it better? I said no, not right now. I did not lose my cool. I didn’t raise my voice or cuss anybody out. I stayed in the kitchen and did my best to feel better. It wasn’t until evening, when Adam and I went to take our shower, I opened up about what was bothering me. I often need some time to gather my thoughts. It never works well when I attempt to share them while I’m worked up and angry. I was calm, rational, and no longer so upset. I told Adam, “y’all really hurt my feelings this weekend”. I explained how it felt like my happiness and excitement was being poked fun of. I told him, he has no idea that, moments before he walked into the kitchen to give me grief about what Christmas thing I was planning out now, I’d been sitting on the floor, in an absolute panic. I’d written about this dish scrub brush my mother gave me. It was the last “gift” she ever gave me. It wasn’t wrapped up for Christmas or anything. It was just something she gave me because she knew I used things like that. It was thoughtful. It means a whole lot to me. I couldn’t find it. Something inside me needed to see that it was still there, under my sink. Only, when I looked, I couldn’t find it. I was melting down, for a minute there, before he walked in. My kids are teasing me about my love of Christmas because they see and hear their daddy do it. I needed him to really understand why I try so hard to make it a special time. I needed him to see that, just because I’m smiling and dancing in the kitchen, does not mean there isn’t deep pain that I’m doing my very best to replace with happiness and joy, for my family. I never want to dampen their experiences because of my past. It’s important to me that I give them fond memories of their mama. I’m not ashamed or embarrassed that I love Christmas! I was hurt that my family didn’t seem to appreciate how much effort and energy I put into trying to make it special for them, every year. It’s not about me. I want to make them smile. They seemed to treat it all like a joke. That hurts.
I didn’t raise my voice or get sassy and snarky, while I explained all this to Adam. I fought to keep my composure, and not bawl my eyes out, because I truly didn’t want to make Adam feel terrible. I simply needed him to see my side of this, when I’m being relentlessly picked on because I’m excited and happy about making the season special for my family, as if that’s something I should refrain from. As if, I’m silly for trying so hard, for putting so much effort into this, for laughing, even though I could cry, if I focused on things like that dish scrub brush for too long. Adam felt horrible. I mean, so awful, I felt sorry for him. My goal was not to tear him down. He, clearly, understood what I’d wanted him to, though. I leaned into his chest and he put his arms around me. I told him, “I don’t want to make you feel bad. Just please appreciate these things, at least more than you make fun of me for them.” He told me he and our son would be glad to hang the outdoor lights next weekend. He assured me that nobody would be taking my hard work for granted, anymore. That made me feel a lot better. Also, I found the scrub brush. It was buried in a box. I’d missed it, probably because I was so panicked. I still have it, though. It’s safe and sound.