My very bad, terrible, wonderful, magical Christmas

Depressinghotel

Well…I didn’t expect that.

I didn’t expect that two weeks would go by without me posting a thing.  But it was a long week last week.  Crazy.

Do you want the good news or the bad news first?  If you’re a glass half-empty person like me, you want the bad news first.  Half-empties always want the bad news first.  The bad news is always going to be much worse on bad news scale from 1 to 10 than the good news is going to be good on the good news scale from 1 to 10. So it just makes sense to get the bad news first, wallow in the misery and get it over with.  Got it?  It’s just how we roll…

But this time I’ll give you the good news first.

I’m a Grandma!

My son’s wife delivered a truly beautiful, albeit alien-looking, little boy a few days before Christmas in Chicago.  All newborns have that ET look about them don’t they?  Mother and son are doing fine.  My son is positively euphoric.  That’s nice to see.

The little guy was late.  Hmmm – I hope he doesn’t make this a habit.  But this was more good news for us because we were able to be there for the birth.  Well, not actually in the room.  Yuck.  But close by.  We had flown up a few days earlier and our younger son got there that morning, just in the nick of time.

Funny story that; I was actually a bit “under the influence” when he was born.  Although I was convinced that he was going to make his appearance the same day my DIL went into labor, everybody else poo poo-ed me.  “Poo poo,” they said, “she won’t have him until tomorrow morning.”  So they sent us all home.  Or in our case, back to our hotel.

More about the hotel later…

Knowing that a baby was coming sooner or later, the three of us celebrated with a few glasses of Champagne.  Okay – not REAL Champagne, but close enough.  It had bubbles.

Wouldn’t you know it, after I downed my third glass, I got a text that she was pushing.  The next text told us to high-tail it over to the hospital.  I don’t like to say I told you so, but…  I hate it that I’m most always right.

Thirty minutes later, I officially became a grandma.  A somewhat tipsy grandma.  It pains me to think that every time the little guy catches a whiff of the scent of alcohol he may have flashbacks to me breathing in his face saying “Hi little guy!” in slightly slurred speech. True story.  I’m kind of a cheap drunk.

Now for the bad news.  Our trip to Chicago was six days of non-stop family.  Her family and our family.  Nonstop.  I like family and all but, seriously?

Since my blog is anonymous, and my family and extended family doesn’t know about it (thank God!), I couldn’t write anything.  It seemed like people were always around me.  Or I was sleeping.  Too much togetherness; I like and need my alone time.  Honestly, the only time I was truly by myself was in the bathroom.  I’m not inspired to write while I’m in the bathroom.  At least not about stuff you’d want to read.

So I couldn’t write any posts last week.  Frowny face.

The other bad news.  We weren’t allowed to stay with my son and DIL, so we stayed in a hotel the entire time.  And even though they came into town the same day we did, her parents were allowed stayed at my son’s place.  What the hell?  They did have to move on Christmas day.  They went to stay with their other daughter who lives about mile away who has two extra bedrooms.  She lived a mile away all along and had extra bedrooms all along.  But we were in a hotel.  We just love being the guy’s parents….

I’ve decided that spending Christmas in a hotel sucks.  My son and DIL brought the baby home on Christmas day, so everybody else was “on hold” until the new family felt somewhat settled.  This didn’t happen until 7 PM Christmas evening.

So on Christmas day, we wasted time.  We went to Starbucks for brunch and coffee.  We went to a movie.  We hung around the hotel room.  We went to dinner at a Thai restaurant.  It was definitely an unconventional Christmas.

For six days, it was non-stop family togetherness, and hurry up and wait.  I don’t do either of those very well.  Clearly.

But I have a picture of the little guy as the wallpaper on my phone and I say hi to him every time I turn the screen on.  Honestly, I hate to sound like a cliche, but it kind of melts my heart every time I see his sweet, alien-like face.  I never thought I’d be excited to travel to Chicago in the middle of winter, but I can’t wait to go back to see him at the end of January.

Okay, so this time the good news outweighed the bad news for this glass half-empty Grinch.  I give it a 10 on the good news scale. Screw the bad news.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays a little late!

My Life Is Perfect

BoastingXmas

Yesterday, I finished “the” Christmas letter.

You know – it’s the letter that gets stuffed in selected Christmas cards to let your far away friends and family know how amazingly wonderful your life was the past year.  And how brilliant and successful your children continue to be as fully grown adults.

These letters are like the TV show Survivor.  They involve playing the game.  You wait to write your letter until you’ve received several others to see how much you have to “one-up” them.  But if you wait too long, your card and letter arrives after Christmas and you just look like a pathetic loser.  Timing is everything.  It’s eat or be eaten.

I don’t send a Christmas letter in every card.  Because of social media, most of my friends already know that my life is spectacular and my children are wildly, hopelessly successful.  The letters are so that everybody else who ISN’T digitally plugged-in can know that as well.  And just how drab and sad their lives are in comparison.

I’m just spreading the cheer…

Some people are on the cusp.  It’s the  “should I or shouldn’t I” dilemma with some folks who intentionally keep a low profile on social media.  They’re stalkers.  They don’t have the gonads to actually post anything, but they want to read all about you. Chicken sh*t stalkers.

My new motto is, “When in doubt, send it out!”  If I’m not absolutely sure they know about how much more fantabulous my life and kids are than theirs, the letter get’s stuffed.  Something to bring a little ray of sunshine into their dreary, mundane existence

Okay – the above is a bit tongue-in-cheek.  Maybe a lot.  But not the chicken sh*t stalker part…    I was actually channeling some of the people who send us Christmas letters.  You know – the eye-rolling kind of letters that make you wonder why neither they nor their kid(s) have been selected as Time’s Person of the Year yet because they’ve done everything but discover the cure for cancer.  No question that will happen in 2015 – or so they tell us.

Perfect family, perfect job, perfect life.  Yeah, right.  And I have some prime land in Florida to sell that you would love.  Cheap.

Are there Chanukah letters in Chanukah cards?  What about Ramadan?  Do Muslims send out Ramadan cards and if they do, do they include stuff like “my kid got a work promotion and is now a Vice President” news tidbits in a note?

I hope not.

It’s actually kind of sad.  It was one thing to write about your kid making the varsity soccer team when he was in high school.  It’s entirely a different thing to be doing the same type of thing when your “kid” is 35.  I always think that something important is missing from their lives to make them continue to live vicariously through their children and have to annually announce their perceived accomplishments.

But figuring out what that is, is out of my scope of practice.  All I can do is write my letter.  It usually includes tiny blurbs about my adult kids.  They’re doing great for which I am very thankful, but I have no desire to toot that horn ad nauseam at this point in my life.  It’s mostly about my husband and I, and how we are navigating this early winter season of our life.  More introspective than in the past. Less ego.

Tell the truth, shame the devil AGMA…  Yeah – okay, I did put in that I took three great trips this year and that I’m going to be a grandma in the next week.

THE NEXT WEEK!

Oops- again, did I say that out loud?

So I can’t wait to write my Christmas letter next year to tell everybody how little babyAGMA is so advanced for his age, and is talking and walking and potty trained and is already being recruited to play football by a major D1 college team.

And how everybody else’s grandkid is just a big loser.

I just love the holidays!

Announcing a new stablemate for AgingGracefully

GrandmaCool

Next month, I start a new job.  It’ll be a something totally new that I’ve never, ever done before.  I’ll be navigating unfamiliar and possibly treacherous waters.

I’m going to become a grandma for the first time.

To most, receiving the joyous news from your precious son or daughter that a grand-baby is on the way would be an intoxicating experience.  After my son told us, I just felt like getting intoxicated. Or downright drunk.

First of all, we were almost the last of the “important people to tell” to know.  Actually, we were the last.  My daughter-in-law was damned near 5 months pregnant and all popped out when they told us!  She wore a very loose shirt when we arrived…  All of their close friends, co-workers and HER family knew weeks before were were privileged to receive the news about the impending “blessed event”.

WTF?

Now, I know my son’s closest friends very well.  I know that, if they get their hands on a juicy tidbit, their mother’s will know as soon know as possible.  They are incapable of not spilling their guts to their moms.  Clearly this trait hasn’t rubbed off onto my son.

When I lamented that the “moms” probably knew before I did, my son assured me that his friends PROMISED not to tell anybody.  I talked to one of the “moms”.  She knew before I did.  Her son spilled his guts.  My son is so naive…

Objectively, I kind of get why we were the last to know.  We traveled from Georgia to Illinois to visit them this summer for a long weekend.  They wanted to tell us in person.  They wanted to see our reaction.  I sorta get that in a detached kind of “isn’t that sweet” way.

But when I realize that scores of people knew before we did – their 3rd grade teachers, my 3rd grade teacher, our mailman and the cashier at Kroger – it made the news not quite as exciting as it should have been.

I’m just wondering what would have happened if we hadn’t gone up there this summer.  I guess I’d have figured it out when I got the first baby shower invite.

My son tells us were welcome to come up when his wife goes into labor to be there for the delivery.  We live a 12+ hour drive away. And it would be more than likely snowing for the last 6 of those 12+ hours what with the Polar Vortex and all.  To book a same day or next day flight would cost at least $630.  Each.

We opted to book a flight up two days after the due date in hopes that the little critter arrives on schedule or is maybe just a little late. That would be excellent if he was a bit late.  He would get his first Do Bee points for that.  Miss Janie would be proud.

We’ve been told we have to stay at a hotel when we come up because they don’t want anybody else in their house while they’re all “bonding”.  Good God.

Then we get a text a couple of weeks ago saying that we needed to get our “shots” before we come up.  Nobody without their “shots” will be allowed to get anywhere close to the baby.  Again, WTF?   I’ll get my shots alright – those little Candy Cane Jello shots from my last post.  Maybe I can find a happy hour close by.

So.many.rules.

But being the dutiful soon-to-be grandma who doesn’t want to piss off her son and really does want to see her newborn grandson, I got my “shots” yesterday.  And my arm is really, really sore today. Thanks Obama.

I’ve been thinking about my grandma “name”.  You know – what the little guy will call me when he starts talking.  Providing we will be allowed to talk to him.  You never know with all of the rules.

Grams, Nana, Grammy, Big Mama, Memaw – so many to choose from.

Hmmm…

GrannyMyAss has a really nice ring to it.