It’s Christmas’s fault

I can’t sleep. I’m exhausted, it’s 5:30 on a Sunday morning, and I can’t sleep. Items for my “to do” list keep popping up in my head. Until two minutes ago, I was lying in bed, trying to fall back asleep while trying to commit my to-do list to memory while simultaneously trying to will the entire list away until I got up. The list wouldn’t go away, so I got up.

I blame Christmas.

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Old, but too old to realize it

Sometime in the past five years, when I wasn’t looking, I became old.

I started noticing it last year, when I returned to full-time work after several years of freelancing. Maybe it was the fact that most of my colleagues were a good decade younger than my 38-year-old self.

Or maybe it was that I had turned into the quintessential mom: the kind who, if she had an adult son, would call him up—at work—to ask how to program the DVR because “your dad is out of town and forgot to record ‘The Closer’ even though I asked him to do it before he left. It’s just like your Dad. I ask him to do one thing!”

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Someone get me some earplugs

An hour before she had to show up for the performance, Billup started gathering potential costume pieces. “I think these tights work,” she said, “in case I get a chance to perform.”

Then hastened to add: “But I probably won’t.”

Five minutes later, she asked, “Mom, do you have an undershirt I can borrow, to wear under the dress—in case I need it?” And so on, until we had white tights, a white undershirt and cute shoes tucked into a bag for her to take with. I made her brush her hair—“Just in case,” I said, playing the game.

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Little problem still feels big for mom

Years ago, when our firstborn was still a toddler, my husband’s cousin told us, “Bigger kids, bigger problems.” I’m starting to get what she means.


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Our second child—11-year-old Billup*—tried  out for the school play this fall. She became the understudy for the Good Witch (they’re doing a parody of “The Wizard of Oz”). Early on, she excitedly shared, “Mrs. R told us if the understudies do well in rehearsals, we might even get to do one of the performances!” She continued to be chatty about how rehearsals had been going… until a few weeks ago.

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