I've not been feeling particularly well, save for when Mom offers me a magical Vicodin. But I did arrive home safely on Saturday and we celebrated Christmas Eve a night early so that Older Cousin could travel today. I've been working and running errands and spending time with my parents.
I had just left on Saturday morning, informing my parents that though I wasn't feeling great, I was heading home.
"I need to talk to Aunt Katie." I heard Little One insist and Dad promptly handed her the phone.
"Are you bringing the Strawberry Shortcakes?" She asked me eagerly and I winced.
"I forgot them, sweetheart." I told her of the toys I used when I was little. "But I have a trunk full of presents for you." I listened to her wait in silence for a moment before asking if I should turn around and get the Strawberry stuff.
"Yes." She responded quickly, so we back-tracked and got the large plastic strawberries filled with dolls and shoes and plastic pets. I also had the Strawberry Trolley, a gazebo and some sort of spinning ride for the dolls. I'm an awesome aunt.
It was lovely last night - eating pizza and opening presents and nibbling on super-sweet sugar cookies frosted with even sweeter icing. I got sad near the end of the evening - I'd received presents, the only adult to do so. Aunt got me ornaments (handmade, and they're beautiful), Cousin bought toys and treats for Chienne and Sprout and Older Cousin bought very pretty knick knacks. Which was sweet, I suppose, but we're supposed to buy for the kids. I am not a child and I don't like that I'm so blatantly different because I don't have any of my own.
Even Mom forgot me. She named the couples who would be attending the evening's festivities and ended up with 10 adults.
"I'm right here!" I cried and she blinked at me before laughing.
"Eleven then." She said and shook her head at her mistake. I teased her about it and it wasn't a big deal, but I feel less because I'm unpaired and childless. They love me, but I felt heavy with the failure to create a family of my own last night.
But I feel better this morning - still with a tummyache but much less sad. It should be a relatively quiet day today. So there will be work and writing and rearranging presents under the tree. Then tomorrow there will be more food and gifts and family. And then Christmas - with all the joys and sadnesses around it - will be over for another year.