I cast my eyes upon the window. The tree branches are dancing, the old gate is rattling, the sun isn’t all the way up, and already I can tell it is cold. My warm blankets are so soft, yet the outside world calls. Breakfasts, lunches for lunch boxes, papers signed, homework put in folders, and backpacks found. Make sure teeth are brushed, clothes on, socks and shoes on. Coats on. Diaper changed for the little one. Of course, he thought putting a hand towel in his bowl of cereal was a great idea. So was pouring out his glass of milk-all over the table.
I just want to curl in a ball. I hate November. My depression gets worse. When I was younger my mom died in October. Thanksgiving is the holiday I most associate with her. Instead of cherishing it— I loathe it. Can I just eat all the pie?
I have to take the kids to school. I should exercise. I don’t do it as often as I used to. It does help. I need groceries after. I have started ordering stuff online. While this has been a huge help, I have to face the store. It really isn’t bad, I tend to psych myself out beforehand. We have fun. I actually handle this stuff really well. I blame November. In November my house feels extra safe and warm. There is tv, my audiobook, Facebook, and blankets. Before long I have to pick up my boys. I have to take one to an appointment. I have to make sure the younger two don’t tear up the office. They find the water cooler, and it is a constant back and forth. Ugh. It is driving me bonkers. Another feels sick and is laid out on the couch. Why does everyone have to get sick in November? The youngest just recovered from a bad stomach virus. It was gross.
When I think about November I think about people trying to fit us in. Where do we go? Traditions upended, a different side of the family to celebrate with. It feels so wrong and everyone is trying to make it feel normal. That just makes it feel worse. Can’t we just go home?
Currently, I want to sit in bed and watch British detective shows, but the dishes are calling my name, if I ignore them they may just swallow the kitchen whole. I have to get everyone a snack, a drink, get homework started, and help make everyone comfortable. There is some fighting, yelling, chasing, basically some of everything. I have to think about dinner. My husband is out of town most of the week. I don’t really want to feed them. They don’t really eat anyway. The second child has religious ed tonight so I should make sure he eats before he goes. Luckily, there is one frozen pizza and some frozen pigs in a blanket that I can heat up. I have make sure they all eat something. Pizza or Weiners? I even made broccoli-does anyone want it? Just me? I take the garbage and recycling down to the curb. I have to put a coat on for this. It will only get colder and snow. I am still adjusting. It will get better.
Thanksgivings in college were the worst. My dad kicked me out of the house one Thanksgiving. I had the audacity to tell him what he should have done when I was younger, how he should attempt to love us now, and perhaps November didn’t make it better.
I should do some laundry. I should make them read for 20-30 minutes. I should make them play outside. I should make them do some extra math. I should play puzzles or dolls or blocks with the younger kids. I know I should. I want to. It is just cold and dark. It is already dark at 5:30.
Electronics time it is.
I like the Christmas season. It feels special. Magical. Like everything will be better. Hopeful. For now I have to force myself to tell them the tv goes off. We play a game of trivial pursuit. There is laughter. Smiles. I am glad we did it. I feel guilt that I had to make myself. Reading stories to the younger kids. Telling them repeatedly to go to bed. TV on for the older kids. Finally bed. Bed for them. Bed for me. It won’t always be November.