I think about my grandmothers a lot. What must it have been like for them to have raised children while managing their dreams for themselves? My mother’s siblings describe wonderful times
eating fruits, candies, and nuts. They recall being thrilled by receiving all the presents they had asked for. Once they stopped believing in Santa Claus, they wondered how it had all been possible. When my grandmother did work she worked as a domestic and my grandfather worked for the Water Department. While his would have been considered a “good” job, seven children would have meant spending a good portion of those “good” wages.

We managed to do a good job budgeting money this season but I didn’t do a good enough job preparing my body for the tolls of joy. Children may not realize this, I know I certainly didn’t when I was one, but parents work hard staging the home for Santa. We actually thought about how we were going to wake my son up and how we were going to introduce him to his various gifts. I also made a big dinner. By the end of the day I was exhausted; I’m still exhausted!

I wonder how long it took my grandmother to learn to manage the tolls of joy? I wonder what models she would suggest for me?

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