Real life from the crack of dawn....
Friday, December 26, 2014
The Five Day of Christmas Misfire
A couple of months before Christmas, Rob and I toyed with the idea of taking a trip during Christmas vacation with the kids.
We thought about a few places we might go or things we might do, but ultimately decided against taking a trip. Instead, we decided to capitalize on the time that Rob was taking off to spend dedicated and planned time together as a family. From there, the "Five Days of Christmas" was born.
We chose a few activities and planned which days we might do them. We said nothing to the kids. After all the festivities of Christmas Day, we called them downstairs to tell them about the activity for the next day.
As a general rule, we don't often call the kids to the family room for a group discussion. Any time we have had a "family meeting" like this, it tends to be something serious in nature that we want to convey to them. We didn't realize at the time that calling them all to meet up with us would freak them out, but it became obvious as they gathered in front of Rob and I, who were sitting together on the couch.
Kate arrived first and sat across from us on the ottoman, eyes wide, brow furrowed. Chris followed and remained standing. Trey sauntered in a minute or two later, sat on the opposite couch, and got right to the point: "Are we in trouble?"
At this point, toying with them had become completely irresistible. "No, you aren't in trouble," I said sagely to the saucer eyed children, "your Dad and I have something we'd like to talk with you about."
AND THIS IS WHERE IT ALL WENT AWRY.
Rob, my lovely dear husband who is often at the receiving end of pranks and not so much at the delivery end, COMPLETELY MISFIRES!
In a serious tone, he states somberly "Your Mother and I have decided to live apart."
It took me a second to process what he said, and I think I processed it in the same amount of time as the kids. Kate's mouth dropped open and her hands shot up to her face. Chris literally dropped two steps back and let out a howl. "NOOOOOOO!"
Trey, perhaps the most seasoned or twisted of our kids, took in the scene quickly, got the "joke" and went "heh heh heh!"
Really, it was kind of an awful scene.
"No! No! ROB!!" My head swiveled between venomous looks at him and looking back at the poor older two. "He's kidding! He's KIDDING!!"
As it dawned on Kate and Chris that this was NOT in fact why we were all gathered, they both started to laugh in an "I just avoided being in a deadly situation" kind of laugh, which for Kate teetered between laughter and tears.Chris sort of staggered around a bit. "I got a cold feeling in my head that went all down my body!"he exclaimed, in that sort of half-laughing, half terrified squeaky voice.
I was sort of near to tears myself because hearing those words brought back some long forgotten memories and feelings of my own. Years before my parents actually split up in 1993, they had sat us down at the kitchen table and said those same words to my brother and I. It was one of the strangest experiences of my life, because they told us and then NOTHING EVER HAPPENED. It was like I dreamed it. I don't remember it even being spoken of again. But I digress.
It took a few minutes to clean up the pieces from the "joke misfire." Man, my heart goes out to all of you who have had that conversation for real. It was horrible and it wasn't even happening.
From there we told the kids about our plan for the Secret Five Days, and that Day Number One would be a Pajama Painting Pottery thing happening at the local pottery place. :) The kids are excited (about pottery or our lack of separation is unclear!) and I'm looking forward to five days of fun activities on our "staycation."