Arlo’s birthday falls one week before Christmas and he is generously given many gifts in this short time. I am what you call a “Christmas Person”. I like to build anticipation using an advent calendar but I don’t want to bring anything more into the house. This year I was inspired by Pinterest (I guess I am also what you call a “Pinterest Mom”) and created Arlo a Lego countdown using tiles he already owns.
I am not however, what you would call a “Creative Type”. I write (and color!) but I don’t build stuff, draw, knit, decoupage, etc. My kids don’t get homemade play dough. In other words, I have no business creating a Lego countdown calendar. It was extremely challenging and very time-consuming but I had a revelation while working on this project; I never found myself thinking, “I should be doing something else.”
A lot of people ask me when will I go back to work or more generally, what will I do with all that time when both kids are in school. I reply with great seriousness, “I hope to never work again,” and it always gets a hearty laugh. But really, I hope to never work again. Part of this stems from the fact I worked full-time from age 19-38 and every summer from age 14. I’ve had a full work experience. Mostly though, I don’t believe parenting requires less of me as my kids get older. Or at least it hasn’t yet, not by a long shot. Exhibit A: Summer Break. There has never been a time in the past six years where I have sat back and thought, “Now what?”
Could I have purchased a Lego advent calendar? Hell yes and I may still next year, but when Arlo surveyed the collection of all he built and said “When I look at all these I feel proud,” I knew my time was well-spent.
As long as I have the privilege of time, I’m going to fill it with ways to connect with my kids. I’m not thinking about what’s next. I’m in it. It’s not always great — omg I would rather build Legos alone at 10am then while comatose at 10pm O.M.G. — but I know what tomorrow will bring and the next day and the next year, if I’m lucky. I know I have found my calling.