In so many ways, December really was a month to forget at the end of what has been, on the whole, a good year.
The back half of November had been bad enough, as I’d had first a cold and then some sort of gastric flu/bug in consecutive weeks. Which, coupled to the stresses and strains of a work environment of redundancies, budget cuts and pay freezes, really didn’t help.
But then December kicked off with Isaac spending 48 hours in hospital with ballonitis. I caught another cold. Then, a few days after Zac’s birthday (one of the few highlights of the month), Heather’s step-father had a mild stroke. That was followed by Zac getting another virus the week before Christmas which manifested itself as tonsilitis and a temperature of 40-plus degrees. That weekend I came down with the flu, which knocked me out until Christmas Eve. Then Heather spent the whole of Christmas with a bad cold. And finally my family, having spent Christmas with us, all got flu as well and have spent the last few days in bed.
Like I said, a month to forget.
And that’s not including the stress of having four family members – mum, dad, brother, cousin – staying over for two days at Christmas. Truth be told, much though I love my folks, I was so glad when we got to Boxing Day evening and we were able to close the door and just be a family of three again. (Although we then had to pack up and drive down to Heather’s mum’s for a couple of days, which was actually far more easy-going than expected.)
Still, Zac’s birthday (where we got everyone together down at Heather’s mum’s) went well, and he didn’t seem too fazed by Christmas, although he was still a bit too young to understand or appreciate it, other than the fact that he suddenly had lots of new toys to play with.
And the last few days of the month, when it was just the three of us, all sickness-free for the first time in about six weeks, have been lovely. Zac has reminded us just what a smiley, joyful boy he is. We have benefitted from him spending two days in nursery post-Christmas: the first day we both went back to sleep until lunchtime, and then drove to Oxford for a leisurely, buggy-less afternoon of lunch and shopping. And, with both physical and mental batteries recharged, I’m now really looking forward to 2009.
2008 – and December in particular – are now consigned to history. Let’s see what the new year brings.