I have a secret. Don’t tell anyone because it’s a horrible secret and it proves just what a selfish woman I truly am. Okay, here it goes. You ready?
I hate Christmas. I dread it every year and often wish I could skip it.
Truthfully, I haven’t always hated Christmas. I used to love the shopping, the decorations, the beautiful trees and even the ridiculous non-stop playing of Christmas music everywhere I went. I relished in the picking, wrapping and almost impossible to keep secrets about the gifts. It was exciting to show the people I loved how I felt with a unique gift or twenty. I loved Christmas!
Until 1998, when I
married my husband and became a stepmother. That’s when I stopped liking
Before she came back around, Santa and I bought the most incredible gifts, made the most beautiful decorations, did the greatest things. Every scarf, shoe and shirt was like gold to my girls. Every toy was better than the last. I was unstoppable! Then the girls started spending time with their ‘mom’ and the gifts she bought, the things they did with her and the decorations she made were the best ever. I was ousted out of my much deserved first place spot. And that hurt.
Okay, okay. I know, all you moms out there are saying “Who are you to say these girls shouldn’t love their mom unconditionally? Shouldn’t want to be with her? Who are you to think you should mean more to them than their biological mother?” Well chill out a bit there folks. This woman wasn’t and still isn’t any form of a good mother. She abandoned her kids, but even before that, the left them at home at 3 and 1 years old, by themselves. She put them in situations where they were almost kidnapped, she let them run around outside at 4 and 2 unattended and unclothed. She didn’t feed them often because she was too busy being passed out drunk or stoned on the couch. She would leave for days at a time and forgot birthdays, holidays and other events. Like kindergarten. She let them play at a pond, alone, when neither could swim. She wasn’t going to receive any mother of the year awards. Trust me. And when the divorce started, she left, didn’t come back for a year and didn’t once try to contact them.
Now that she has given up the drugs (and she’s not taking her clothes off for strange men anymore) they see their mom every weekend. She doesn’t call during the week, nor does she go to any of their school events. She’s not the one that takes them to the doctor, she doesn’t buy their friends birthday presents, doesn’t manage their medications, or fix their knees when they fall off their scooters. She doesn’t help with their homework or wash their clothes. She doesn’t make them dinner every night, take them to gymnastics, have their friends sleep over or listen to them cry about fights and boys. Those things are all my jobs, and as most other moms out there, much, much more.
You know what she does do? She buys them Christmas presents. The most amazing, unbelievable Christmas presents. Well, to them at least. To everyone else they’re ordinary. Gameboy games, sweaters, Bratz dolls. Nothing so spectacular to write home about. But to them, there’s nothing better.
I understand why these
gifts are so great. They are never quite sure if she’s going to be around
and if she’s going to give them something because for such a long time she
disappointed them. Every gift from her is, well, a gift. I’m a sure thing.
I’m here everyday. I handle everything and they know I’m not going
anywhere. They’re used to me. Almost to the point of taking me for
granted, which most kids do of their parents.
Never once during the holidays do I hear, “Gee mom, thanks for all you do. You really are a great mom!” Most of the moms out there probably don’t either and though I know that, it doesn’t make it any easier. I do hear how great she is though. How wonderful the cookies they made were, how great the movie they rented was, how much fun they had at the transvestite bar she works at, decorating for the holidays. It’s like I take on the Jan Brady attitude, “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!” I become frustrated and jealous and angry because she gets all this recognition for doing basically nothing and here’s me, the one who’s done all the shopping and all the preparation and I get no recognition. Nothing. Nada.
Am I wrong to feel so slighted? Maybe so. Maybe not. But it doesn’t matter what’s wrong or right. What matters is how I feel and I don’t feel very loved over Christmastime. I feel very alone actually. I feel like no matter what I do, it’s never going to be like what she does. No matter what I say, it’s not as good as what she says. And so on and so on and so on.
So that’s why I don’t really like Christmas.
It’s getting better though. I do have a wonderful son who doesn’t have any other mothers and who happens to think I’m the greatest thing since sliced bread. He hugs me, loves me and kisses me over and over. Sure, that’s worth a lot. And I treasure those moments because I know that some day he’ll be older and won’t do that. Not for a long, long time. But I still wish I could get that from my girls. Because it doesn’t matter if they came from my womb or not. They’re my daughters. I’ve been with them longer than their mother. I just wish they realized that. And maybe thought as me as the great one every now and then.
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