Friday, January 4, 2008
Tripping Up Along The Holiday Shuffle
Scheduling holiday visits with family was sometimes a major PITA, even though I made it look easy in this post. Remembering where Cinderella would be proved challenging at times.
(Prince Charming and Maleficent used to alternate Christmas Eve/Christmas Day and other holidays every year.)
I tried to keep things straight by writing this stuff down on every calendar we owned but, inevitably, Cinderella would miss out on seeing someone (and vice versa) b/c their schedule just didn't match up with ours.
(And... sometimes b/c the custody/visitation schedule was thrown OFF-schedule b/c someone couldn't accommodate their visitation time and requested a switch in days. *ahem* )
When Prince Charming was granted full custody two years ago, the custody document was adjusted once again in an effort to make it easier for all involved.
Cinderella would now be with us EVERY Christmas Eve.
Maleficent would get her EVERY Christmas Day from 12 Noon until December 28th where Cinderella would be returned home and remain through New Years and until the end of her holiday break (upon which the regular visitations schedule would resume).
Now we KNOW to plan our family get-togethers every Christmas Eve so Cinderella never again has to miss out!, we happily proclaimed then.
And yet, somewhere amidst the baking and decorating and shopping and wrapping we tripped up.
We forgot to plan for Christmas Eve and went right along with scheduling parents, step-parents, extended family visits for Christmas Day.
Once again, Cinderella missed out on seeing them.
Once again, they missed out on seeing her.
We suck. I know it. She knows it.
As much as I tried to downplay it, she knows they were here. Her face showed her disappointment.
Disappointment that was short-lived and all-but disappeared once she opened the presents they left for her... but still IT WAS THERE.
Try as we might, holidays may never be "perfect" when stepchildren are involved.
(My parents made it look easy but that could be b/c they didn't come from divorced parents so didn't have the added challenge of scheduling time with their own "steps.")
As Stepparents, we can only do our best to establish traditions and rituals that will hopefully create happy memories for our skids and that will not leave them feeling left-out or that they somehow missed out.
With each new year and with each experience comes a chance to do better.
Next year, Cinderella, we WILL do better.