My husband started his job today…after some three years of looking for jobs, finding life’s purpose, plotting goals, having kids, moving, and so much more…it all manifested in his starting a job today.
It’s been intense, especially the last 6mo. Losing our home to foreclosure, countless job offers falling through, school years starting, then a school change. I was giving up. I was applying to jobs, wondering if I would have to put my not yet even 6mo baby in daycare so I could work. I didn’t (don’t) want to have to do that, but to care for them and to ensure we had a home to feel warm and safe in I was trying to do just that.
He asked me to stop, and to continue to have faith in him and his opportunities instead, and I did.
Part of me wondered if I would soon be counting the days until we had to move from where we are now, if I would be looking up shelters, looking up sliding scale rents, but I did my damn best to support him by caring for the kids first, giving him the freedom to do what he had to do.
Sometimes I hated myself for it…was I discounting myself? Should I have insisted on applying to work (even though I didn’t want to)? I was also hating myself for not doing a better job at it…I have not been able to keep the house clean. I am in absolute AWE of mothers, especially mother’s of 3+ kids who manage to keep the house clean and organized while raising the kids. I don’t get it.
Long story short…last week he accepted a job offer. It was as we predicted, one finally came, and soon after the first another big offer came. Thanksgiving week was a week to be thankful for us 100%, though choosing between two very good job offers is definitely a challenge. It also marked the “anniversary” of my first employment in Seattle way back in 2006 after moving to Seattle the month before.
So let’s get back to tonight. To add some more context I have been following some discussions in parenting groups I am a part of regarding Santa. Some children *knowing* that Santa doesn’t exist and how to coach them to not deflate another believing child’s fantasy. It fascinated me to read the parents logic, none of it bad, but all of it different from mine. I knew it was different from mine but it was driving me crazy that I couldn’t clearly define *how* it was different though I could feel that it, well, was simply different!
Today went well, better than I could have imagined. Prior to today Geoff has cooked most breakfasts for the girls and I. Often I have left Zazen and/or Hazel to drop off Kenzie or he has been the one to drop her off. Needless to say today was different as he had a bus to catch early in the morning to get to work on time.
I managed to cook eggs for Kenzie, promised one to Hazel before realizing I had no more then thankfully Kenzie was full and gave Hazel the rest of hers. Then we got to school on time, first time that has happened in a long time. I took Hazel and Zazen shopping, nothing fancy just Target, and spent a lot of time thinking about how many other parents/grandparents with kids were there. I texted Geoff to ask if we had money for a few hats and decided to just try the card and see if it worked. It worked and now we have hair ties, two hats, and some socks we wouldn’t have otherwise had. Later I got the test saying that it was ok, but I didn’t know I’d get that text when I made the purchase.
Then I met with a new potential partner in my daily routine…someone to watch the kids or help clean sometimes at home, a wonderful (I think!) student from NSCC.
Before I knew it it was time to pick up Kenzie. I picked her up and decided that I wanted to make sure that there was dinner at home for Geoff when he got home. I tried to enroll the girls in picking something special and eventually decided on a roasted chicken and pizza (I’m no gourmet chef yet!!). I was VERY nervous to go to the grocery store because I did not have a baby carrier to carry Zazen, meaning that he would be in my arms and I would have to coordinate the grabbing of stuff and safety of the girls one handed.
Eventually we made it through the store…I got a nice mix of stuff for a “special night”; thin crusted meat pizza, a roasted chicken, hard apple cider, some pistachios and small containers of everyone’s favorite ice creams.
We were all standing in line after this, and I was losing patience. Hazel, clearly tired, was fascinated with the candy. We made it through the checkout, we made it far enough that someone to help me to the car was already there…when it became clear that my credit card wasn’t working, I wasn’t surprised considering I knew money was tight and obviously Geoff hasn’t been paid yet, but I was very disappointed that I wouldn’t be able to provide a nice dinner. I knew we had about $20 left on our food stamp card and my purse was in the car, so I asked the understanding cashier to please hold the food but only for the ten minutes it would take to check my purse to see if I had it, then hopefully my credit card would cover the balance left over. I took the girls, who were upset to be leaving the food behind, to the car and began to dig…I was holding Zazen while I went through some coupons, and grabbed my purse to start digging. I had my door open as I sat in the car, Zazen was on my lap and the girls were standing in the spot next to us. A man in a van decided to park next to us, I have no idea why, but that led to me directing the girls to stand behind the car on the sidewalk as I grabbed my purse, closed the door (so the guy could park) and leaned on the car to go through my purse. I didn’t have the card. I brought the girls to the other side of the car and told them to load up, we didn’t have the money and sorry but this time we had to leave the food and go home, I told them that soon we would have money and wouldn’t have to worry about this sort of thing. Hazel happily climbed through over the carseats but Kenzie was crying…I think she really wanted that little ice cream.
Just as I was leaning into the car to put Zazen into his seat I heard an unfamiliar voice ask me a question; “Did you get a hold of your husband?” I stood back up, still holding Zazen, to see who had asked me the question. A tall woman wearing a long beautiful purple and green dress was standing there…I think she had a hat on too. I responded with “No” because while I hadn’t even tried it was true that I hadn’t contacted him.
She told me she would pay for it. I was kind of in shock for a moment as she started digging through her wallet, “How much was it?” “I think it was about $40 or so…” and next thing I knew she was handing me two twenty dollar bills. I thanked her and asked if I could pay her back, I explained that this was meant to be a dinner to celebrate my husband having a job and that I would be able to pay her back…she kindly refused, and then as I got the girls back out of the car she climbed into hers and drove away.
I realized that I had just experienced some true “Santa” spirit. Some people call it god, some people call it holiday spirit, some people call it a nice person.
I chose to use that moment as a perfect example of what Santa *really* was to my daughters…well to Kenzie as Hazel was so loopy I don’t think she was listening. I explained that the “Santa Spirit” was in all of us…and that was the reason there were so many Santa Clauses was because some people needed to see a Santa to help them find their own Santa Spirit. I explained to her that when she was helping me push the cart, or trying to help me keep an eye on Hazel, the Santa Spirit was what made it feel good. I told her that some people thought that Santa was a person, and that he didn’t really exist, but actually Santa is a spirit that we can all feel when we want to.
We know we have Santa Spirit when it feels good to help someone.
Anyone who chooses to believe it can experience it.
Some people choose not to believe in any kind of Santa and that’s ok, they might just call it something else, but as long as we believe in it, then we can help people who need help and we can feel good about it.