"I'll go get my stuffed animals!" said Willem, racing off to gather them up. He returned to Nels's room and climbed up on the bed.
"OK, but I don't want to play stuffed animals," said Nels.
"OK. We can just snuggle and look at some books," suggested Willem. It was agreed.
Though their quiet reading time quickly devolved into squabbling, the original impulse was a good one, and set the tone for the day.
After breakfast the boys and I went through all their toys together for the first time. (Usually I make things disappear when the kids are sleeping, but I suspected that I wasn't being ruthless enough.) We looked at every toy, one by one, and passed judgement: keep, toss, give.
My intuition turned out to be correct; the boys quite willingly (cheerfully, even!) got rid of a ton of stuff, and we all feel a lot better now. Ah.
Pleased with a job well done, I went to check my email and almost fell on the floor. My inbox contained an email from Breadline Press, telling me they'd accepted my submission to their first West Coast Anthology.
I was so excited that I couldn't even remember what I'd sent them. (Turned out to be a short memoir piece.)
I'm not much of a goal-setter, but this year I had decided that I would work toward being published in print for the first time by the time I turn forty. Maybe that doesn't sound like setting the bar very high, but it seemed plenty ambitious (bordering on presumptuous) to me! I'm thrilled to be two years ahead of schedule.
It's a good thing I had a productive morning, because I was worthless for the rest of the day. I did manage to order some bagels and lox from Russ and Daughters for my grandpa's Christmas present.
I also got to the vet's office before they closed so I could buy our cat the solid gold food that she barfs up less frequently than any other kind. (Hmm...just like that crazy expensive formula we used to buy when the boys were babies, imagining that perhaps they seemed slightly less miserable than they were with the cheaper stuff. I sense a theme.)
It just so happens that our fridge in the garage is fully stocked with chilled sparkling wine for a New Year's Eve party, and I was very happy to have an excuse to break into the stash.
To recap: the first day of Christmas break started with my boys reading in bed and ended with a celebratory toast. Now that's a good day.