We've had a fun week of Christmas celebration here, beginning with a trip to Seattle Center to see the winter village with the mighty Herc. It was a good time, and Viri ran spazzing into the chilly afternoon. As he is wont to do. To be honest, the standard money and career and parenting frustrations had been building for a few weeks, and I was really not looking forward to the season. I've been avoiding it fairly successfully. But, the sight of the festive families and my kids running and playing cheered me up, and I shifted into holiday gear.
Jaime takes the twelve days of Christmas idea very seriously. The twelve days represent the months, and you are supposed to treat them as a microcosm of the coming year. Christmas eve is the last day of advent, a day off, so to speak, and Christmas day begins the twelve days. We're very sincerely trying to make these days good, and prepare ourselves for the enxt year. It will have it's trials and tribulations, certainly. The next year for us is very up in the air. Which can be good or bad; hence the preparing. I'm setting the foundation for a great year for our family, in my attitude and behavior.
Today we took a vacation day. We drove out to the little Bavaria of western Washington, Leavenworth. It is a really fun and odd little town. It really reminded us of the touristy type places in Switzerland. (A lot of people in Seattle mock it for being a tourist destination or not actually being Bavaria. Which is ridiculous; sure it's touristy. But being "German" in a fun way isn't any sillier than being a French restaurant or Japanese karaoke place. It's just a theme. Pull the stick out, city of Seattle, and relax.) It's a neat place, and the kids just loved it. Viri went sledding, we looked at bizarre German knick knacks, and got keychains with our family crests! (Barkers have lions and gryphons! We're awesome.)
The kids were perfect, which was a pleasant change from the earlier part of the week. I think the mood was affecting them. I know Viri especially was sensitive to how irate I have been. So, I made an effort to relax and have fun, and Jaime and I joked and laughed, and the kids just fell right into step. We had an amazing family outing. The high point for me was watching Viri dive headfirst down the hill on his sled. He was a berserker today, and I think it really opened him up. With the weather being chilly and wet, he hasn't gotten enough outside time. He is an outside boy; he behaves so much better when he can run and scream and go crazy.
Tomorrow is a day to get things in order, and take some personal time. I'm going to the gym, cleaning the car, and clearing my head for the twelve days of Christmas. I think it will do me good to take it pretty seriously this year as well. I want good things for the family in the coming year. And today I was reminded that good things aren't luck. They happen when you take a breath, open your heart, and have fun with the people you love. In my experience there's no such thing as luck.*
*That's in the Bible, right?