It's been a rather Christmas Carol Christmas so I thought it altogether fitting and proper that I read the tale personally.
I don't think I have ever read the original version. My brother gave me the Great Illustrated Classics edition for Christmas several years ago but it has been edited down to a third grade reading level so it doesn't count as being the original version. Furthermore since it's a third grade reading level that tells you just how many years have passed since I read it last.
So I popped on over and "borrowed" a copy from Project Gutenberg. I finished it yesterday and I'm quite glad I read it though I'm not sure I have much to say about it right now.
On Monday evening we went to the Orem Public Library with my mom and sister to participate in a singing of Handel's Messiah—well, selections from it, anyway—hosted by the Utah Lyric Opera. They had a little chamber orchestra and real opera singers so the accompaniment and vocal solos were stellar. It was fun to do some Christmas caroling.
I don't know what it is but it just hasn't felt like Christmas for me. You'd think with all this Christmas-ing that it would feel more like Christmas. But it doesn't. I think it is a combination between homesickness and stress. We have plenty of both of those things in our household to go around.
Today Rachel (who is feeling much better) threw a fit about having to put away the dishes. She likes to yell that she hates me but then I think she feels bad because she always tacks something on the end. For example, she'll yell, "I hate you! ...to tell me that." Or, "I hate you! ...for sending me to bed."
This afternoon she growled and charged at me so I sent her, screaming, to her room to cool down for a minute until she could come out and speak to me like a child instead of a wolverine. She was not happy about being sent to her room. Or the fact that I told her that she'd still have to do the dishes when she came out because they weren't going to put themselves away while she was in her room.
"I HATE YOU!" she screamed and then I guess she couldn't think of anything to supplement her statement because there was a longer pause than usual before she added, "...being in America!"
"Where would you like me better?" I called out.
"In Egypt—by yourself!"
"But I would be lonely without you."
"I don't care! I hate doing the dishes!"
Ten minutes and lots of screaming later she cracked her door open, "Mom, come look at the tower I made!"
Building block towers is therapeutic for her. Sometimes when she is sent to her room for losing herself in emotion she'll play with her dolls and stuffed animals, but usually she gravitates to her blocks. She says they make her feel happier. I say whatever works works.
I went into her room to see the tower and sat down on the floor to admire it. She crawled into my lap and apologized for screaming at me. Then she said, "If you go to Egypt like I told you to, will you take me, too?"
"When can we go?"
"I don't know. If we go at all it probably won't be for a number of years."
"But Egypt is our home!"
This has been a hard adjustment for our family and probably will continue to be. I can't really blame Rachel for being so frustrated about living here. It frustrates me, too. Maybe I'll feel better (and more Christmasy) after finals are over. Maybe I'll feel better when spring arrives (silly SAD). Maybe I'll feel better once we have a steady paycheck. Maybe, maybe, maybe. But if ifs and buts were candy and nuts we'd all have a wonderful Christmas. So until then, bah! Humbug!
No. I don't think I'll say that.
It's a wonderful season, really, and we have so much to be thankful for. We have a roof over our heads and shoes on our feet, beds to sleep in and food to eat, we have each other to share our past, present, and future. Things will look better in the morning. Things usually look better in the morning. (Except possibly my hair.)