Dear Father Christmas,
The other day we were talking about the kids and whether they'd been good this year. You finished off by asking me what I'd like for Christmas. And I said dismissively, 'Oh, nothing.' But I realised later, that wasn't exactly true.
There are things I'd like. But it's nothing of material value I need. The time I sulked because I didn't get a Rolex for my birthday seems so stupid now. A lifetime ago. When things like watches mattered.
Today, the things I want are altogether different.
Firstly, I would like the good grace to remember, every day, that motherhood is a gift. Even on those days when it feels like such an effort. Because these small people in my charge are only on loan. And I know that, one day, my little boy will cease to bury his head in my neck. My six year old will save her precious confessions for someone else. And my three year old will be making others howl with laughter, whilst finally wearing something other than a tutu.
So I would also like more patience and tolerance. To appreciate the above. To help me let the little things go. And enable me to deal with the big stuff calmly. Particularly around 5.00 PM when everyone is frazzled (me especially) and I'm reaching for the gin. (Oh. That reminds me. More gin!)
Please keep showing me the plight of others. Even when it's desperately sad. It allows me to keep a sense of perspective, which is so important in living a mindful life, particularly when you're a mum often drowning in the more trivial aspects of family life. It's never a bad thing to be reminded of what you have. To look for the abundance in your life. Rather than the lack. My children deserve to know how to do this too. If they don't learn it from me, who will they learn it from?
Last night I watched them sleeping and I found myself hoping that they'll always sleep so peacefully, with blissfully happy dreams. So, I would like them to always feel safe. Because there is nothing on this earth that I cherish more than them. And no greater gift you could give me.
Finally, please give them the strength to believe. In me, even when I'm flailing. And always in themselves. So that when one of their peers teases them for eating Peppa Pig crisps or tells them that YOU aren't real, they find courage and conviction deep within themselves, not self-doubt.
I bet you wished you'd never asked now. It's turned out to be quite a list. And don't be fooled into thinking that I've only asked for gifts for my children. That I'm that typical, selfless mother who puts everyone else first. These are also gifts for me. Because without good grace, patience, tolerance, perspective and love, I will only ever be half the mother I could actually be.
So thank you for thinking of me. And I'll see you on the 24th. The mince pies and brandy will be waiting. I'll be having a gin.
Safe travels spreading your magic. (I've never stopped believing.)