My mistake was waking up Mary. Rookie maneuver and I should have known better.
See, her constitution is that of her daddy's side of the family which wakes up later, slower, and more leisurely (because they are alert and ready to socialize and party late into the night!). The other three kids have my sleeping constitution, which means they wake up very early, alert, ready to chat-chat-chat, and eat immediately (then collapse into a faint if they don't eat right away). I have long since learned to let my husband sit quietly with his cup of coffee while he wakes up and not bombard him with all my Grand!!! Ideas!!! and Plans!!! at that time . . . and I have known for years not to so much as talk to my Mary when she wakes. She needs about a half an hour to grumpily sit alone till she is ready to engage. And I certainly don't wake her up from sleep!
But this morning, everyone was long awake and ready for our St. Lucy's festivities while Mary slept on and on. So, at seven o'clock--when the early birds had been awake for some time--I woke up her.
And then I pushed her to get dressed in her Lucy outfit.
And then I put the new Luciakronen on her grumpy head.
Meanwhile, she was scowling, surly, and ascerbic because it was during her first half hour of being awake.
So, we marched in procession into the kitchen with Mary declaring loudly, "I don't want to serve coffee or tea!," the new crown fell off her head, and most of the light bulbs smashed on the floor. (On a side note, I spent $22 + shipping this year on a new crown, so I could return our borrowed crown to my friend. I was happy to spend that much and would have spent double for a crown we use every year for the next 15 years. But I didn't realize it was very cheap plastic, such that it can't be locked into position on the child's head, which is why it popped open and clattered to the floor, breaking.)
What I felt was the only "win" of the morning was that in that moment: this mother did not push forward, fixing the crown, demanding Mary serve the coffee, or letting her little sister serve the coffee (which would have caused a fight). Perhaps I finally have enough experience that I simply picked up the broken crown, let Mary sit down, served everyone myself, and we ate. Period. Done. It was a bust, but at least it wasn't an explosion, right?
|The grumpy gang trying to be polite|
I served Lussekatter (cinnamon rolls in a tube, thanks to Immaculate baking company) and spice cookies (having made a double batch at St. Nicholas day, in drop cookies instead of cut-outs of St. Nick because I was so tired, which froze beautifully in between the two holy days). I didn't even read St. Lucy's book to the children because everyone was in a crabby mood and we had just heard "St. Nicholas" read it to us last week.
|"St. Lucy" disappeared after breakfast, which she wasn't even ready to eat, and went to read an entire book alone in her room--the alone time she would have had in the first place if I hadn't stuck to my agenda.|
A tradition of service on St. Lucy's day is to visit the elderly and homebound. The last several years, we have done this by having the children make Christmas cards for the homebound of our parish, which I then mail to them. This kind of service fits my station in life in which traveling anywhere is onerous. (Due to first trimester queasies, this week I skipped taking the children to two Christmas plays for which I had bought tickets and their daddy took them to swim and Friday afternoon co-op in my stead.)
|By mid-morning, my Mary was finally awake and cheerful--look at that beaming smile!|
I can barely remember what I cooked for dinner last night, so the way I remember liturgical traditions is by putting them on my Gmail calendar. For example, I have an entry for St. Lucy's day on December 13, which is set to repeat annually forever. In the Notes section, I add any traditions we do or would like to do. Then I set the calendar entry to send me an email reminder one or two weeks ahead so I can prepare (e.g., ask the secretary for addresses of our homebound parishioners) or buy supplies (e.g., cinnamon rolls). Without this practical aid, I'd be hopeless.
Bonus Reading: Apparently the Geminid Meteor Shower will be peaking in activity tonight (overnight December 13-14). We will be offering to the bigger kids to stay up late to watch the meteor showers with the wonderful telescope their grandfather gave them.
"When the Geminids are active, their peak [100-120 meteors per hour] can stretch for almost as long as Earth's 24-hour day. Also, they are visible earlier in the evening than other meteor showers, generally around 9 p.m. or 10 p.m. local time, NASA said. This makes the shower more accessible to children."