Friday, December 22, 2006

The final countdown

I'm working until 2 or 3 today, and actually getting stuff done, somewhat to my surprise. Even more to my surprise: I've been able to do a few interviews; having sources be available on the last work day before any holiday is rare and getting rarer.

D. came down with a bad, bad cold yesterday; he is on Ess duty until I'm done, and swears he can muddle through. Right now she's taking a long nap, though, and he's watching a movie on the couch. Good news for both of them. I'm a little worried about how his illness will affect our (extremely minimal) Christmas plans... and our planned trip to NJ next Wednesday. And I REALLY hope that Ess doesn't catch what he's got. I will have to work very hard to be a grownup, and not a whiny little kid, if we have to skip seeing my family for the holiday. And, yes, I am in fact borrowing trouble and I should really stop.

I started the wrapping last night. And, of course, began with the presents for my parents, which don't actually have to be wrapped until after Christmas. But they were all in one place, which was near the wrapping paper and tape, and so they got done. We only bought Ess one real present -- a beautiful helicopter from this place -- plus an ornament, and I'm pondering whether we should even bother wrapping them. But of course we will and she will try to eat the wrapping paper and totally ignore her swanky new toy.

We have very little in the way of plans for the next few days. Tomorrow morning I would like to write one of the freelance stories that are due in early January, but if D is still sick that's not going to happen. I also need to pick up a few little things for some friends we're planning to see in NJ (or for their kids, anyway), and we probably need to get something for our new daycare provider. And tomorrow would seem to be the last opportunity to do so.

Sunday we're supposed to go to D's aunt's house... a side of the family with whom we have very little contact. D is totally unenthused about going, but I convinced him that it will make his mom happy and, really, what's a couple hours once every few years? I'm actually looking forward to the large group gathering, since it will distract me from the fact that I'm missing the seven-fish dinner and related festivities at my grandparents' house.

And on Christmas D and Ess and I will spend the morning here by ourselves, opening presents and having breakfast -- omelets, maybe? His parents will come over later for beef bourginoine, which satisfies my need to make something slightly fancy and also satisfies his dad's desire to actually eat something that I cook (a true Mainer, he is a meat and potatoes man with very unadventurous culinary tastes). D has to work on Christmas, which we hope will mean that he just carries a cell phone... but there is a chance that he will have to go in to work, which would be really lousy.

So that's that. I really need to spend some time thinking about the positive things about having a quiet Christmas; talking to my sister, who is en route to NJ as I type this, made me realize that, much as I love the holidays at home, there is a fair amount of stress involved. Not to mention the uncertainty of how Ess will sleep at her grandparents' and the chaos of traveling with a blind, deaf, incontinent dog. So, yes, a quiet Christmas is ok. Just forgive me if I seem to repeat that sentiment over the next few days as I try to convince myself that I believe it.