One of my son’s favorite Christmas gifts this year was the movie Frozen. And if you’ve watched that movie, you know the song “Let It Go.” For me, that song took on a different meaning in the days before Christmas.
Shortly before Christmas, I became incredibly ill (stomach-wise) after dinner one night. My husband took off work to be home to care for me and our son. On day one, I didn’t do much but sleep and nibble on a few crackers. On day two, I actually got out of my pajamas, ate a couple of corn tortillas, but I still needed to rest a lot.
It’s not easy for me to be home and not be able to actively participate in my family’s activities. After all, I’m usually the one who goes grocery shopping, takes our son on his weekly library visits, prepares meals, and reads our son a bedtime story. (My husband took care of all that).
On day three, when I began to feel slightly like myself again (meaning I got dressed, was actually a bit hungry, and felt strong enough to stand) I realized that these days when I was sick shared similarities to the days when I was a teacher and called on a substitute to cover my class.
When I was a teacher, procedures and routines were firmly in place in my classroom. A lesson plan was prepared, and a substitute was always left with all necessary paperwork and materials. But I was never there to see what went on. I found out when I returned. My students would tell me about the substitute who just gave answers to math questions, or the substitute who skipped a math lesson entirely.
Here at home, when I was awake, I was around to observe my “substitute.” I can say that, like in my classroom, the routines at home are firmly in place too. But it still wasn’t easy to lie back and let my husband step up and do things his own way. And there was nothing I could do about it. My son was fine, and was actually loving all his extra time with Daddy.
I learned I had to “let it go.” I can’t control everything, and I can’t do it all -- as much as I try. It’s a lesson I need to carry with me into the new year.
Wishing my readers a radiant new year. May we enter 2015 with courage, hope, and love.