Thursday, January 3, 2008

Happiness is three pairs of fuzzy socks


Yesterday, in the final blow-out of our extended pajama-party/lazy-slug-fest that was Christmas vacation, the girls stumbled upon the bag of stocking presents I'd hidden away so cleverly that even I'd forgotten where I'd concealed it. (Note: not the first time that has happened...) Kids' noses are extraordinarily keen at sniffing out those presents, and my 8 year-old seems to be especially adept at it.

She went into my room for some made-up reason; I heard a rustling and then, "Hey Mommy! I think I found something that you forgot to put away!"

Well, I knew that could only mean a box of feminine hygiene products or the bag of stocking gifts which I'd been unable to find in that mad dash to pack and get the hell out of the house and on the road to my parents' house. I did a quick inventory in my head and realized that I'm very good at concealing the first items and figured she meant the gifts.

I bellowed back, "Get out of that bag! And get out of my ROOM! ARGH!"

The wretch sneaked back out with the hugest grin on her face, so I knew that she'd seen the Hello Kitty purse I'd bought her. Lucy, now aware that something was afoot, then got up off the couch as unobtrusively as a 5 year-old could manage (read: not at all) and tip-toed into my room to have a look for herself.

By her squeal, I judged that she'd found the Dora purse I'd gotten her.

"Get. Out. NOW!!" I hollered.

Giggling, she ran out. The two of them looked at me with those twinkling eyes and any hope I'd had of keeping the bag of gifts as a fall-back for Natalie's birthday in April had crashed and burned. Monstrous children.

"Ok," I sighed. "Go get the damn bag and let's see what we've got."

We had: a purse and a locket for each of the girls, some ordinary socks (hey, I'm a mom and a practical one), some Hello Kitty glamor pens, a bag of chocolate coins, a colony of chocolate santas, and three pairs of fuzzy socks. We divvied up the chocolate among the three of us, and looked at the fuzzy socks.

"Hmmm," I thought, "How do I split up three pairs of socks among two kids," when Natalie said,

"Hey Mommy! You get a pair too!"

Cool. Problem solved.

We all put on our fuzzy socks and giggled. I swear, I think we were high on chocolate, or maybe it was hypothermia, it is pretty cold here after all. For some reason, it tickled all three of us that we each had our own pair of fuzzy socks. We sat all snuggled up on the couch and admired our feet clad in slippery, fuzzy, shiny socks.

"OMG, Mommy! Take a picture!" shrieked one of them.

So I did.

I'm amazed at how happy I am lately.

Maybe I'm just high from some sort of radon leak in my house. Who the hell knows.

I do know that my times with the girls the past few months have been better, happier, more content. Sure, they still push my buttons and I send them to their rooms, but we've had so many more times all snuggled together on the couch watching cartoons, movies or reading books. On occasion, they even like to nap with me now, sucked up to me like a remora on a shark.

Could it be that they've finally adjusted to the separation and consequent bouncing back and forth between two houses? Now they're happy when they're here and not missing their dad as much as before because they know that they will see him in a few days and that they'll be back here after that and so on.

Or maybe, sometimes happiness just comes in the form of three pairs of fuzzy socks.