"...[S]ome days are magic; some are mud." --Donn "Murph" Murphy, proprietor of Playa Sonrisa in Xcalak, MexicoThis quote is a repeat from February 17, 2010, but this weekend at our house seemed perfectly designed for this quote, so I am using it again.
Both days (Saturday and Sunday) started out the same way - with a blissful family snuggle in our king-sized bed - but that was where the similarities ended.
Saturday had all the hallmarks of a great day: we were getting our tree and decorating our house, we had two holiday parties to go to and the whole day with nothing scheduled to prepare for both.
Things just didn't go well. The kids were fighting. I was grumpy. My husband was saying and doing the wrong thing at every turn (did I mention I was grumpy?) Everything we did just seemed to go wrong.
The tree was hard to set up, the soup I made for lunch was too hot and didn't taste good. The lights didn't work, the holiday letter my husband wrote made me cringe.
Things got a little better at holiday party #1, although everyone there seemed a bit subdued and out-of-it themselves. A nice time was had, but it wasn't quite as raucous or as light as in past years. We missed most of party #2 because we got stuck in traffic going to party #1. Everywhere we looked, it was nothing but MUD.
Still, at the end of the night we had to admit that it wasn't such a bad day after all and that worse things happen at sea....and every day and all the time.
Sunday, on the other hand, had all the hallmarks of a nightmare day. We had to get the kids up early (after staying out WAY too late at party #2) for church (never an easy task) then take our younger son to his soccer game, get ready to host a family dinner that night and meet the cousins for Santa photos at 5PM.
The thing is? It all went smoothly. The grumpiness of Saturday was gone. The kids were cooperative and didn't complain about church. They didn't fight about screen time. The house seemed to clean itself and we even got to take a short nap. There was no line to see Santa and we figured out a way to share the cost so that it didn't break the bank. Dinner was lovely and we all got to bed at a reasonable hour. MAGIC at every turn.
The thing that gets me is that you just never know. You just never know which it's going to be. You can plan the perfect day and work your ass off to make it happen and get nothing but MUD and you can do nothing special and stumble upon MAGIC.
The only thing to do is to appreciate the magic when it happens and slog through the mud as best you can, knowing that unexpected magic is just around the corner.