I think I found my new “Skinny Boy.” (This post will make a lot more sense if you've read that one.) However, to sum up, we have another boy who spends a LOT of time here because frankly his home life isn't "satisfactory." He hasn't been as easy to warm to – he just has a different personality. But again, like Skinny Boy, amazing work ethic and impeccable mannners. Home situation quite different, too. Again, we'll leave it there. Lives in a nearby rental, reunited with Dad and new girlfriend. The difference in our family life, and I think the explanation for why he spends literally every available moment here, he shared off the cuff with me this afternoon. What he said really helped me, because I've been wallowing in a the inertia-sucking mire of self-pity for a while. "Smiles" gave me perspective. (That nickname is for you, Brian - he sure could use your expertise, and he's tries valiantly to cover his pain with a gorgeous smile)
I Finally got my house decorated this weekend by my fabulous Swissie, and this afternoon The Engineer found the Advent House!
The advent house has 24 doors, big enough to tuck a little treat into. Of course I was ELEVEN days behind, so I wrote privilege cards, not being allowed to leave the house “limited activities, you may walk around your house if you want”. (I'm recovering from a nasty bout of bronchitis that sent my asthma to Olympic Gold...and I cracked at least one rib. While coughing.) So the cards said things like, “Get out of dishes”, “Get a smoothie”, etc. It's a tradition. There are usually trinkets, ornaments, candy, but not so far this year. Not been exactly traditional around here with a laid-up Mom for so long.
I asked “Smiles” about his favorite Christmas traditions. He gets to spend a lot of time with his Grandparents in another state, so I didn't think it was a hurtful question. I thought there'd be some to share. He just smiled and said, “We're not a put together family like yours.”
Imagine that. I thought I was blowing Christmas for our kids with my infirmity, but no, I'm putting it together. Thanks, Smiles. I needed that. We need each other. We can help each other. Keep coming over.
P.S (Last year I wrote a three-part series about Swedish/American Christmas traditions if you'd like to take a peek.)