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  • Fake And Sparkly Not Necessarily A Bad Thing

    December 15, 2008

    One day last week, Sean and I spent the afternoon putting up Christmas decorations.  I used to really enjoy decking the halls, but I have come to a point in life where it seems to be more work than fun.

    As I root through box after box of stuff, I wonder if hanging fake glittery stuff on a fake tree only to be removed and boxed up again in 30 days is a good use of my time and energy, both of which seem to be in short supply these days.  Sparkle and glitter and garland is not really what the season is about after all.

    But then I look at my little five-year-old boyfriend who is totally into Christmas and the decorating and how he is thrilled with each ornament, even the cruddy ones. I realize then that it’s worth it because one day too soon he will be too busy or too cool to spend an afternoon decorating for Christmas with his mama.  And oh how I will rue the day.

    That thought however did not stop me from lying down on the living room floor in an attempt to stave off that spinning sensation of being overwhelmed that often comes with the holidays but this year seems to be magnified in light of the economy and world and personal events.

    As I lay there on the floor trying to create some order in my mind so that I might create some order in my life, Sean wanders over and straddles me with his hands on his hips.  I feel like the worker who has been caught napping in the janitor’s closet.  He  plops down on my tummy.  He leans over and looks me square in the face.  He searches my face with a furrowed brow, lips pursed in concern.  I’m afraid that he knows, that I’ve not done a good job of keeping my adult worries and cynicism to myself.

    “Mom?” he asks as he leans over me.

    “Yes?” I say, bracing myself.

    “Did you know that you have farkles on your face?”

    He draws his face closely into mine and like a surgeon,  he ever so delicately plucks a dot of glitter from my cheek.

    “See?” he says, holding his be-glittered finger one inch from my eyeball, “Farkles!”

    He jumps up, ready to keep going.

    “C’mon mom, let’s keep decorating!” he cries with glee as he tugs on my arm.

    This boy, he is good medicine for a bad attitude.

    I decide that for him, that I would do a better job of at least pretending to find joy in the fake and sparkly, that I would be careful not spoil these few precious years in his life when the world is small and uncomplicated and magical.

    So for now, for the boy, my attitude shall be like my tree — fake and sparkly.  And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

    34 Comments »

    1. Jake's a Girl says:

      Oh Gosh! How I remember these times with ds. After everything was perfect..Well perfect for us we’d lie down under the tree and look up at all the wonder of lights and sparkle.
      Then that night we would turn off all the lights and watch in wonder the miracle that was our tree. We would then guess where each and every ornament came from and he always got to place Baby Jesus in just the right place…Dead set in the middle of the tree.

      When he finally looked at me and said, Oh Mom! I’m really busy, You start and i’ll help later. That day there was no lolling under the tree, no watching the miracle of the tree wonder in the dark. I lost that loving feeling of decorating the tree and it became a chore.

      He at 34 will still tell me sometimes how he use to be so comforted by the scent of my then very long hair as we lay quietly under the tree. I was so happy to know he still remembered us from all the things we shared when he was so small. It’s the little things he remembers that mean the most. How I miss him being small. How I love him being the wonderful grown man he’s become.

      Thank you, AM … For bringing back such lovely memories to me today.

      You are storing up wonderful memories with Sean that will fill his heart and always remain.

      Jake’s a Girl. 🙂

      December 15th, 2008 at 9:53 am

    2. Anna says:

      I was just having that overwhelmed feeling yesterday. You made me look at it in a whole new light. Thanks for your post.

      December 15th, 2008 at 10:02 am

    3. Jeana says:

      Aw…now my heart feels all farkly.

      December 15th, 2008 at 10:12 am

    4. Beck says:

      You know what? We have a Bethlehem dinner under the Christmas tree one night in Advent – hummus and pita bread and lentil soup – and the kids just think it’s MAGICAL.
      Lovely, lovely post.

      December 15th, 2008 at 10:59 am

    5. Kacey says:

      Yes, the day will come when Sean is not as interested in the farkley stuff, but he will indeed remember. You will have this blog to remember exactly how you felt on this day and when you are older, you will look back and feel farkley in your heart. The greatest thing will be the grandchildren that make you feel exactly the same way in another twenty-five years

      December 15th, 2008 at 11:28 am

    6. Kai says:

      My sister and I are 22 and 29 respectively, and we still love decorating the tree with our parents, so it might not be a fleeting tradition after all.

      May you have many more years of farkle!

      December 15th, 2008 at 11:28 am

    7. Gretchen says:

      Oh, gee…I’d like some farkles, too. Very sweet. Thank you for perspective.

      December 15th, 2008 at 11:44 am

    8. Quirky says:

      Isn’t it odd that when we don’t feel like going through the hassles of farkles is exactly when we need them the most?

      Here’s hoping your holidays are full of farkles, inside and out.

      * * *

      You are not only quirky, but wise. My favorite combination. I should like to bring you a bowl of wassail. ~ AM

      December 15th, 2008 at 12:20 pm

    9. Susan says:

      That’s beautiful. I will always think of you now when I put on the “fake and sparkly” act. It’s not always easy, but it is so worth it in the end.

      December 15th, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    10. JanMary, N Ireland says:

      Awww – farkles are the best!

      December 15th, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    11. Jenni says:

      Oh, AM, how I hear you. I have thought in the secret recesses of my mind that, if not for my children, I would not crack open a single Christmas box. But I would not deprive them of all the farkly goodness for the world, so I persevere.

      December 15th, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    12. The voice of melody says:

      Having little children helps us see the bright and beautiful side of everything. Sending some Christmas cheer your way!

      December 15th, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    13. Grace says:

      Your post almost made me cry. I can feel your angst. And I can also feel the wonder in your precious son’s heart. Jake’s Girl sums it up so well. All the Farkles are worth it. As an almost empty-nester, I am so thankful for persevering. It’s an eternal investment.

      December 15th, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    14. Roses ArePink2 says:

      Oh, you are doing it right! As a new empty nester, I look at my tree that is more neatly decorated and arranged to my liking but realize it was the “help” from the little ones that gave it purpose and meaning. I cherish those memories when we decorated together even when I didn’t feel like doing it–and the cookie making–and the ornament painting and all those things that children love to do. Enjoy Sean now with all your might!

      December 15th, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    15. Suzanne says:

      Awww… you are making special memories of farkle… and no matter how we feel now, you’ll look back not remember the hard times or how the world was… just the specialness of Farkles!

      ~Suzanne
      http://www.sugarloafcottage.blogspot.com

      December 15th, 2008 at 2:23 pm

    16. chilihead says:

      Or, you can get the hot-buttered rum. 😉

      December 15th, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    17. Sam says:

      oh how cute – kids have the best attitude don’t they!? It’s just me and the cat in this house, but I still get out all the sparkly (sorry – farkley) stuff and decorate my house!

      December 15th, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    18. diXymiss says:

      What Quirky said. Hoping for more blessings amongst the bustle and farkles within the frenzy.

      December 15th, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    19. Krista says:

      farkles, I love it! my son can’t say spots so they are “fots”. perfect!
      (oh, and my tree is up with lights and a star… that may be as far as we get this year!)

      December 15th, 2008 at 3:27 pm

    20. jean says:

      You are correct. Sometimes it’s ok to fake it. Merry Christmas.

      December 15th, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    21. Pat T. says:

      funny thing is, as you fake the sparkly it generally becomes real! I too have pondered the work involved in holiday decorating but the joy it brings to my two little ones makes it all worth it! My brand new 2 year old lies under the tree almost every night, butt up in the air for a few minutes. Her brother joins her occasionally and many a time we lie under together, looking at the fabulousness of it all.

      Enjoy this time with your little man, the holidays are magical for so many reasons.
      I am so glad you are back! You were missed!

      December 15th, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    22. tom says:

      Farkles! That’s great! That one goes right on up there with “Chicken Wipes”.

      December 15th, 2008 at 4:51 pm

    23. Jan says:

      Not such a bad thing at all. I am so NOT a Christmas person and my little son, well, he totally IS. So, as you do, I do it for him, with a smile on my face (mostly) and joy in my heart (mostly). In the blink of an eye, he will be gone from me, this I know. I hardly blink anymore.

      December 15th, 2008 at 5:46 pm

    24. Nan says:

      Farkly is to be my new word till January. I will write it on my bathroom mirror THIS MINUTE, to remind me to smile, smile, smile, and not let my adult worry and pain show. And I bet it will help me, too, as my farklyness did a while ago at storytime. I gave and recieved snuggles and cozy love, and felt that all was well.

      December 15th, 2008 at 8:04 pm

    25. Roxanne says:

      Hugs and an extra dose of farkles to you.

      December 15th, 2008 at 8:07 pm

    26. PollyS says:

      I’ve heard it many times … Fake it ’til you make it.

      December 15th, 2008 at 8:22 pm

    27. HarryJacksMom says:

      Aw, it’s been one of those years around here, too, and Jack greeted me with “Good Morning, Sunshine” this morning, so all is right in our farkley world – glad it’s so in yours, too 🙂

      December 15th, 2008 at 9:52 pm

    28. Katharine says:

      I’m so glad you’re back. I’m not sure what happened, but I couldn’t access your site for what seemed like a really long time. I thought you might be gone forever, but I kept trying and here you are, Yea! Your blog always makes me smile, thank you.

      December 15th, 2008 at 10:55 pm

    29. Deanna says:

      I have been dragging my feet regarding dragging those boxes into the house to finish decorating the tree. My youngest started but soon grew bored with it because I was not in here with her. I realized that I was putting off the holiday traditions this year, my mother’s heart sad because my oldest is 3000 miles away on the other coast, our first year without her. Then, like a baseball hat to the head, I realized that I was robbing the young daughter of the joy and wonder that comes with decorating. So I hauled in the boxes and got busy. She was so excited when she got home from school! The decorations have exploded throughout the house and she is a happy little girl!

      December 15th, 2008 at 11:34 pm

    30. Prairie Rose says:

      It’s worth the time and effort. When I think Christmas, my mind immediately flashes back to the tree of little girlhood. I remember every ornament, and how exciting it was to get each one out every year. Those big ugly bulbs with the foil around them. The icicles strung everywhere. The gaudy tinsel. All of it just takes me back and makes me a child again at Christmas.

      So yeah. It’s worth the trouble to give Sean those memories. Because he will remember.

      December 15th, 2008 at 11:38 pm

    31. PastormacsAnn says:

      Awwwww, THIS is why I am so happy that you didn’t quit blogging!

      Thanks, AM.

      December 16th, 2008 at 1:56 am

    32. Smalltowngirl says:

      Wow- I really needed to read this today. I have cursing and getting frustrated with everything about the holidays (feeling overwhelmed in every way!)and I bet my children can sense it….I need to step back and enjoy the moment– because you are right- children will grow up so quickly and the time to enjoy it is now! Thanks for the good post….

      December 16th, 2008 at 2:58 am

    33. Brigitte says:

      Reminds me of how I must keep my depressive, evil personality a deep, dark secret from my 4-year-old daughter. And how to find joy in how she thinks the most gaudy tacky cheap sparkly things and holiday lights are utterly beautiful!

      December 16th, 2008 at 6:17 am

    34. Beverlydru says:

      I don’t want to grow up. One Birthday card I got this year said “If you don’t grow up by middle age, you don’t have to.”
      The weight of adulthood is not very fun sometimes. Thank God for the wonder & innocence of children (and for farkles too).

      December 16th, 2008 at 10:01 am

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