My actual Christmas bonus wasn't the money put into funds that might mature when I do in order that I don't wind up playing airplane tag with kids in tow. Caleb isn't dumb. That money, along with any other money save for about a hundred dollars in my purse is out of reach unless I ask for it now. Mainly because if I have it, we will run. I don't lie.
The bonus was supposed to be Caleb leaving town for the holidays.
I was going to drive him to the airport myself this morning. Or rather, Ben would have, since it's slippery today and snowing.
And yet here he is. Still in town.
There was snow in Montreal. So much of it that rather than mess around with changing his plans or possibly getting stuck there when he is on a tight schedule, he opted to stay in town. Right. This is the part where I point out that since he's here, we'll have to see him and since there is nothing more depressing than a hotel during the holidays so...
He's staying here.
Sigh. I know.
He already asked where I keep the clothing steamer.
Do you have an iron?
We're not barbarians. I don't iron. Period. Not anymore. I have. I will sometimes. Like once a year. If that. So when the iron looked slightly rusty I pitched it. So he's going to have his laundry picked up to be done. Which is fine. I would have loved to shrink all his favorite bespoke shirts and lose one sock out of every pair but really it's better this way.
Wait until he finds out the thread count in my sheets are close to zero.
Wait until the dog poops by the door instead of outside. It happens once a week or so.
Wait until he finds out I reheat coffee sometimes, if the boys are busy and no one brings any home for me or takes me out for some.
Wait until he really understands the gravity of staying in a hundred-year-old house with seven other people and an emergency-grade shortage of bathroom facilities.
Maybe, since it's Christmas, I should cut him some slack. I considered this briefly on my way into church and then as we were stepping around a group on the icy steps, both Caleb and Ben reached out, each placing a familiar hand on my back, one of which was very quickly withdrawn when treated with the dark flash of Ben's temper, ever so quietly over my head.
And so today instead of praying for patience, I was forced to pray feverishly and silently that no one murders Caleb in his sleep this Christmas season.