Kneading Shortbread for the fourth time

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all I can feel is the weariness

when the little ones cry out in the middle of the night

with their fevers, their bad dreams, their coughing

and the one who lays beside me wakes me in the night hours when the little ones do not, with his coughing

the day feels long at 9am

because I have to cancel a playdate and we are home yet another day because of the next little one being feverish

then there are the usual bouts of conflict that occur

and my patience wears thin, like a coat that has seen too many years

the fatigue wears heavy on my shoulders

the trip to Tim Horton’s turns into a gong show when little girl decides to whine

and I demand nice voices instead of whiny ones

and she ramps it up, and turns the whines into screaming

and heads turn and people stare as my face reddens and I stand my ground before this little one,

this little one with the big voice and the strong will

and I feel like taking off the “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” button on my coat

because I am not smiling…. and aren’t Christians supposed to smile, because their Saviour is born?

and aren’t we supposed to be victorious, especially at this time of year?

there are still cards to write, cookies to bake, presents to wrap…

and then after dinner I knead shortbread dough again… the 4th time this season, trying to get it just right

and it takes over an hour when I think it shouldn’t,

and frustration sets in, instead of joy

and it takes so long, and I want to bless my neighbours, but the dough has made just such a measly few cookies, that still don’t taste like the melt-in-your-mouth variety that I remember from my childhood

and I keep kneading shortbread

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