Thoughts from the shortest day of the year

Yesterday was the winter solstice. A few years ago I wrote a short novel that I’ve been tentatively calling The Norwegian Secret to Enjoying Winter that is set on the shortest day of the year. I’m still debating how I’d like to revise that and release it into the world.

Yesterday wasn’t snowy or all that cold. It did get dark early (of course) but now every day the light will last longer.

It was both a normal and abnormal day, as many seem to be right now. For some reason I kept thinking it was Wednesday. My 14-year-old often comes home on the bus on Wednesdays. He did yesterday (Tuesday) because all extracurriculars at his high school have been canceled for the week due to Covid issues (sigh). So I was just merrily working away after he came in, assuming that my 12-year-old had also gotten off the bus a little later (as he also would on a Wednesday). I didn’t hear him but he often disappears to go play on the downstairs gaming computer before I can intercept him and ask about such un-fun things as homework. I heard the elementary school aged kids come in.

Then, at 4:25, I got a text from the 12-year-old asking “Are you here?” Again, thinking it was Wednesday, I answered “yes” meaning yes, I was at home if he needed something. Then it suddenly dawned on me that no, it was Tuesday, and he’d stayed after school for an activity he always does on Tuesdays, and the kids have to be picked up by 4:30. My husband, nanny, and I divvy up driving, and this pick-up was on my list and…I had completely forgotten.

Fortunately, there’s an activity bus he was able to get on and it got him home by 4:40, which was exactly the time we likely would have gotten home if I had remembered to get him but…wow.

Anyway, he was fairly chill about the whole thing (my daughter’s reaction: “Can you please not forget about me too? Thanks.”). He accepted the explanation that I forgot about the pick-up, and not that I had forgotten about him. Indeed, I had spent some time that day purchasing Christmas presents for him at Target that he had specifically asked for, so there was solid evidence in that category.

That Target trip was epic but the shopping is officially done. I am done. I do not like spending money and while theoretically it is easier to do in situations where I am expected to spend money (present shopping) I still do not like it. Here’s hoping everyone likes what they got. And here’s hoping Santa brings good stuff too — I bought the dog a stocking yesterday, not because the dog cares, but because the consensus from people who answered my question on Instagram is that other household members would expect Santa to remember Max the poodle (even if Mom can’t remember to pick up all the kids…). So he now has a stocking with a paw print on it…

9 thoughts on “Thoughts from the shortest day of the year

    1. @Murray – Definitely! Some year I hope to experience December 21st there…New Zealand is on the bucket list!

  1. I once drove our now 25 yo son to his middle-school soccer game after school, stayed to watch the game, and drove home without him. Yea….

    In my defense, his team was normally required to ride the team bus both ways, but there was a bus driver shortage that day.

    I got home (about 3 miles away), figured it out, and drove back. The team was still there so I tried to act all nonchalant….

    He laughed and was quite unfazed at the time. He has since seemed to develop into a contributing member of society despite this event. 🙂

  2. I was pick my daughter up after a birthday party and when I had to call for her (she was in a crowd), I realized that I could not remember her name.
    She is my only child.
    Sigh!

  3. Nearly 56 years ago now my parents were outside in the car with two year old me ready to leave for the church for my baby brother’s christening when they realised he was still inside the house in his carrycot on the sofa!

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