Yesterday was a HORRIBLE day. The dog escaped (again) and I had to run all over the neighborhood – finally my neighbor trapped him in her backyard (thank you, thank you, thank you, neighbor), the kids were all little monsters (with the exception of Robert – he’s not old enough for monster status yet). We had temper tantrums, pee spots, poo spots, talking back, fighting, the disapearance of treats being saved for giving away and stockings, and more.
By the end I was the re-incarnation of Scrooge. Christmas be hanged, bah-humbug. I was ready to call the whole thing off, throw out the tree, lights and all, and smash the next radio that played a Christmas song. Consequently I had gone the entire day without even turning on the Christmas lights and my one attempt at listening to Christmas music only seemed to enhance how horrible everyone was acting (me included) and I wanted to hurl, so I promptly turned it off again. It had never felt so non-Christmassy, ever, EVER.
Well, we were planning on either going to the Zoo to see the lights (our pass gets us in to see the lights free – yay!) or doing more caroling, but by the time Paul came home all I wanted to do was go to bed. But, despite the rotten day and my rotten attitude we managed to pull together and stumble out the door to head out to the Zoo. It was late and we knew we wouldn’t have much time, but we knew, for whatever reason we needed to go.
Dot suggested we turn off the radio and sing our own Christmas songs and that maybe it would help bring the Spirit of Christmas back. I kinda mumbled at first, but pretty soon the car was full of singing as we bounced along to the zoo.
From the parking lot to the entrance you cross over the road on a bridge beneath a canopy of lights, with the excitement of the children catching on I found my horrible rotten day melting away. For whatever reason, we needed that family moment and we had a lot of fun.
Our favorite was the light display timed to flash along with the music. The kids were fascinated by it. Rosey cheeked from the cold, we were swept along by the lights and joy as we reveled once again in the magic of Christmas and the feeling of family. We even stopped in on the elephants and in the building that housed the birds – which were AMAZING! I was most intrigued with the ginormous bats – they were HUGE! And some of the birds were so colorful – brilliant amazing colors, purple, yellow, orange, blue, green – so many colors!
Too soon we found out the zoo was closing and we made our way toward the entrance. It was 9:30 and the kids were tired, Jacob especially was beginning to wane. Finally he plunked on the edge of a bench. “I’m too tired,” he said looking at me.
I looked to the side where the girls were running ahead and saw a lane brilliantly lit with red and white lights. A sign to the side read, “Candy Cane Lane.”
“Don’t you want to go down Candy Cane Lane?” I asked in hopes of distracting him and aiming him back toward the entrance so we could get back to the car and head home without too much of a fight.
He hopped onto his feet and began patting his legs. “Wake up! Wake up! Please, wake up!” Then he dart off to Candy Cane lane, leaving me chuckling behind him.
When we got home, Paul tucked the kids into bed while I promptly turned on the Christmas lights and filled the home with Christmas music. The horrible day didn’t seem so horrible anymore, and I was thankful for family who can come out shining even at the end of rough day. I sure do love them.