… my wife is a better person than anyone I know.
Saturday was supposed to see us handing off the kids to their biological father for a week with us picking them up on Christmas Day in New England. The intervening week was supposed to have us traveling north, seeing family and friends along the way, then spending time with the kids and extended family in Massachusetts and New York, then back home around New Years.
I won’t lie: I was really looking forward to this trip. While my mother was here in September and my brothers surprised me with a birthday visit earlier this month, I haven’t seen my sister since here wedding 15 months ago. Same for my sisters-in-law, brother-in-law and nephews. For some of my northern friends, I haven’t seen them in over two years.
But the boy child has been sick and his doctor recommended against his flying this weekend. Then the girl child caught the flu and, in a manner only a tween could manage, did everything she could to hang on to it for a few extra days. So they didn’t leave, we aren’t leaving and all the travel plans have been scrapped.
Their father decided to change his plans and pick them up on Christmas Eve and take them north for a week or more, leaving my wife without her kids on Christmas for the first time ever. We won’t see any of her family, any of my family or any of our friends this break.
It just sucks.
She’s been running the boy around to appointments for the last few weeks while working through her busiest time of the year. (Including staying up all night with him during a miserably failed “sleep study.”)
Still, when I said I was heading out on an errand, something in her brain clicked and she said wait, she had some things for me to donate to Toys for Tots. She dug through her gift closet, pulled things she had picked up cheaply on clearance and deep discounts, and we filled the back of my car with toys.
She’s not seeing her family this holiday season. She’s not seeing my family, any of our friends or her own kids on Christmas and yet she remembered she had these things to give away, to give to those whose need is greater still than hers.
Even on the worst of days, she’s a better person than me.