It didn’t turn out like I hoped it would and it didn’t turn out like I thought it would. It was much worse. But it started off really good.

Christmas is not my favorite time of year. I love the holiday and I love seeing my kids on Christmas morning. I complain about my family but they are mine and I do love them and I really do enjoy spending time with them. As long as I get to go home.

I don’t know about other single parents but for me Christmas is a roller coaster. I have to split the holiday and the kids up so they can spend time with their dad. Ex #1 celebrates Christmas a week early and has as long as I have known him. This works out well since we don’t have to manage the bisecting of the two days, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Ex #2 was supposed to have daughter for Christmas Eve from 9am to 8pm. That was the schedule we agreed upon years ago when we got divorced. We haven’t really stuck to it that much since I have included him in our festivities so we didn’t have to make our daughter go with one parent or the other. This year we fell back on the decree because he is taking me to court to try to dismiss or lower his child support obligation. I’m nice but not nice enough to include him when he is taking me to court.

Three weeks ago I called my brother to figure out what and when we were going to celebrate the day with our mother. Mom is in a nursing home and because she is so frail I am afriad to transfer her into and out of a car anymore. I am afriad I will break something. So we needed to procure a ride from a mobility company. This is why I was asking said brother three weeks early. He wanted to do the celebration at his home but said he didn’t know anything at that time. There was more to it but it’s not worth going into. But suffice to say that he felt it was not my place to try to arrange things when it was his party. So I left it on his plate. When we talked he did say he wanted to do something on Christmas day rather than the eve.

I didn’t hear anything from my brother until the 23rd and ex #2 didn’t contact me until yesterday. I am not the most organized person but it is not for my lack of trying. Brother called and said he was having a hard time getting a ride. No shit, really? You had a hard time getting transportation for the handicap two days before you need it? In his defense he wouldn’t know this since he never took mom to the doctor or any appointments. That is my job. And why I called three weeks in advance, but now I’m being snarky. Long story short he got a ride but had to change the day to Christmas Eve. Fine, grandma just won’t get to see my daughter. We can live with that. He asked me to make a few desserts and some other stuff so I spent the rest of Tuesday evening running errands.

This is where it gets good.

I get home that night and check my blogs and email. I had an email from Paypal saying I had received a donation. I have had the damn donation button up there for at least six months and had honestly forgotten about since I had only ever gotten one donation. And that one was from a friend. I don’t make money off this blog. I try but nobody clicks on the stupid ads that have nothing do with what I am writing about, and I don’t blame them. They suck. I read the email again and was sure there was a typo or someone was playing a joke on me. It was a very generous donation. I checked my paypal account and saw that it wasn’t a joke. The money was really there. I sent a “thank you” to the donor sure that they would notice their mistake of an extra 0. They sent me a “your welcome”. So it was for real. I could breathe for a few days because of this donation. I was so touched and tickled that someone, a stranger, would give me this gift. I would be able to pay a few bills that I honestly didn’t know how I was going to pay. I also knew I had to give a little back so I tucked a nice chunk into the kettle where Santa was ringing his bell. That morning there had been an apartment fire in a nearby suburb and I felt bad that I couldn’t do anything to help the people who had all lost everything only days before Christmas. This person’s donation allowed me to do that and it felt wonderful.

I don’t get presents for Christmas. It has been ages since there was anything under the tree for me. I’m used to it but I still don’t like it. I don’t know how to change it is the problem. I make my kids buy something for each other and thier dads but have a hard time telling them they must buy or make something for me. I just can’t bring myself to beg so I don’t. They don’t seem to notice. So I know it’s going to turn out this way, I’m whining I know, but I try to focus on the fact that we are all together and everyone is healthy. And that is a wonderful gift. It is not lost on me that things are really pretty good.

So the day began to taper down. Ex #2 didn’t pick up daughter yesterday. He texted me and said he would be picking her up today at 4. I didn’t even point out that it was not his day. It worked out well since she was able to see grandma. Everyone was happy.

She is gone for ten minutes. I was finally getting a moment of peace. I cleaned up the house and ran the dishwasher. It started leaking all over the kitchen floor. It’s a piece of shit and it doesn’t even really clean, the dog does a better job of getting the dishes clean but it had never leaked before. I mopped it up and made a note to myself to pull it out and see if I could find the leak. I continued cleaning up the wrapping paper and plastic packaging from the days glorious festivities. I even considered pouring myself a glass of wine (which I am now having). As I am thinking about sitting down for the first time today my son comes running up from the basement where his room is. He is talking about his toilet and how it is leaking. He is speaking quickly, the way kids do when they have done something wrong but know they must tell you since there is damage happening as they speak and they need help.

“Jiggle the handle” I tell him.

“It’s not a jiggle thing mom. I think it needs to be plunged but the whole floor is covered in water so I didn’t plung it.”

I run downstairs and indeed the whole floor is in about two inches of water. He is has read my mind and is trying to explain to me how it is that there is so much water that he didn’t notice. It’s not two inches in just the bathroom but the whole basement. The cat has stuffed her squishy ball in the drain in the laundry room so it isn’t going down.

I run to the toilet and try to turn off the water. I can’t budge it, it’s rusted in the open postion. I jiggle the handle because I can. I then grab the plunger and plung. The water goes down the pot and at least isn’t spilling over any longer. The water is still dripping out of a crack in the bowl but at least it is not coming out as quickly. I run to grab a wrench so I can shut off the water.

My son’s bathroom is disgusting. It’s disgusting before the toilet overflowed but I am kneeling in this water trying to get at the valve. My hair is in the water and my pants are soaked. He just stands there not knowing what to do. I can’t tell him what to do because I am on auto pilot. Stop the water before it gets to his computer is all I can think of. I grab the wet/dry vac that doesn’t work and tried to suck up the water. I put the hose in the wrong outlet and sprayed water all over the place. At this point I’m laughing my ass off and my son thinks I am crazy. He wants to know if I am mad at him.

“For what?” I ask.
“Making a big poop” he says.

I’m not mad and it isn’t his fault. Things just came together at one time and created a huge mess. We sucked up as much water and filth as we could and loaded everything into the washing machine. I was not expecting the dishwasher to break, I wasn’t expecting the toilet to break, I have been expecting the washing machine and dryer to break for the last year. I suspect this will be the day that it happens.

So I need a new toilet and a new dishwasher (I didn’t even mention the snow blower that broke last week) Merry Christmas to me.

I apologize to everyone, this is really way too long but I do feel better having told my story. The wine didn’t hurt either.

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