Gosh, what a crazy few days. Or, rather, nearly a week. I realized this morning when I sat down at my desk that I hadn't been there since last Tuesday. That's a long time. We were in Buffalo for five full days, which is longer than we've been there in ages, if ever. Certainly we wouldn't have been anywhere else during a time like this, but it's been a bit of a weird time nonetheless.
The time with Craig's family was good, I guess--as good as can be expected considering the circumstances. The kids had a great time together and it was nice to see Craig's aunts, uncles, and cousins. Everyone enjoyed watching Carter wander through the funeral home in his little man clothes. Even the corrections officers who were there to guard the casket (for honor, not necessarily safety) cracked quite a few smiles as he ran past or constantly tried to play in the little fountain. His cousins would chase him around, other people would scoop him up and whisk him off. Craig's cousin's husband grabbed him to watch a show on his phone, and at one point I downloaded a couple new apps to kill some time. Overall he was a handful, but very well behaved. Jacob played a lot on his iPad and chased his cousins around. He had moments where he clearly didn't understand the importance of what we were doing, but to the casual observer he was fine. Overall there were a lot of very difficult moments for all of us, because this was such a tragic situation and two kids don't always understand that. We ended up sending Carter to my parents' for the funeral because I didn't want to have to wrangle an active kid for such a long day of quiet time. I'm glad we did.
One of the biggest challenges of the weekend was that our schedule was all over the place. There were days to sleep in, but there were a couple early mornings, too. Bedtimes were generally later than we would have liked, and sleeping somewhere else never really leads to the soundest of sleeps. Mealtimes were a little random, as well, and Jacob's diet in particular was a little odd since gluten-free foods were not in abundant supply. Between those issues and the emotional toll of the funeral process, we all came home pretty beat. Craig and I are both battling congestion (again--second time in a couple weeks), Carter has a nasty cough, and Jacob spent part of today in the nurse's office with what we think may have been a touch of gluten cross-contamination. We're all just tired and off.
We got back around 5:30pm yesterday and I started realizing just how deep of a hole I had to dig out of. I had hoped to do some shopping or something over the weekend, but between our schedule and just trying to keep up with email and social media when I finally did get to a computer, I didn't get anything done. Not that I was in much of a mood to. I don't know if it was the funeral, or a bit of a pity party that the weekend I had planned on using to catch up on life and get a head start on Christmas ended up being so different, but I'm having a really hard time getting into the Christmas spirit. I'd been waiting to listen to Christmas music and put up our decorations, but the weekend it was all supposed to happen ended up being such a sad one, and I almost feel guilty thinking about doing fun Christmas stuff. At this point I just don't feel like it. It didn't help that the tree that I put up before we left now has a row of lights out, and I'm not sure they can be fixed. It's a pre-lit tree, so it's a little more complicated that switching out the set. So we have a dark Christmas tree in our living room and all of my fall décor is still sitting on my dining room table. I'm busy doing dishes because the dishwasher still isn't fixed, catching up on work because my schedule this week is weird, and staring at the pile of newspapers that arrived while we were gone. We've barely bought any Christmas gifts, and I'm short on ideas. Everywhere I look there's something I need to do work on or clean up. I feel like the calendar has something on it every day this month, and with Craig's schedule I'm not sure when our shopping is going to get done. There simply isn't enough time for anything right now, or at least my schedule, energy level, and brain power aren't aligning very well.
I know that my issues are nothing compared to the sadness we left behind an hour down the thruway, but it's hard heading into Christmas and not feeling it. The season is so short and so fast, and here I am wasting it pitying myself and worrying about the million things I need to get done. I don't want to pressure myself, but part of the fun of Christmas is the special stuff we get to do. It's a delicate balance. I need to figure it out. But I won't be doing it tonight. Tonight, like last night, I'm just happy to be home and in my own bed. It's the little things.