Tuesday, December 23, 2008
I stumbled into my Mommy Group when my son Jaden was just 6 months-old and I was a panicked new mom who felt isolated and unsure, having just moved from NY to LA... This group of fifteen moms, who met in prenatal yoga, welcomed me into the fold for their Mommy and Me play dates. Over the last 9 years we have troubleshooted anything and everything that life as a mom has thrown at us: from bed wetting to divorce. Our Mommy Group has now evolved into freestanding friendships, and the kids are no longer the main focal point. We get together throughout the year to celebrate our natal birthdays with dinners out on the town. These are wise women. Moms I look to for advice and their tried and true experience. I would not have the quality of motherhood or have developed the sense of humour mothering evokes had I not been able to laugh and cry talking to these mommies over time.
Last week we got together at "Camp Crawford" - our annual Christmas tradition where the kids get to see each other for the first time in a year at Cindy Crawford's, one of the Mommies, in Malibu... We sit on a blanket, sip hot apple cider and eat a yummy lunch while the kids run around and play games with a camp counselor... A really nice moment in time for us as we go over our holiday plans and gush over each others' offspring.
I took the opportunity to ask Cindy a couple questions about how she handles this time of year with her kids, Presley, 9 and Kaia, 7. It's something I, myself, have been worrying about - my kids getting too much. Because this year, for the first time, my kids will have a record breaking 5 Christmases with all the families (on their dad's side and mine combined)!!! That's the last thing I want this season to foster is spoiling! How do you enjoy the giving and receiving and still maintain the integrity of the spirit of Christmas? Cindy and her husband, Rande, are obviously very successful, but they are also very down-to-earth; parents who care that their kids are normal, and not out-of-touch with reality despite their privilege.
"I remember as a kid that the build up for Christmas - all the excitement - was as important as the main event. I try to share that with my kids by decorating right after Thanksgiving. We also make sure that the kids watch each other open presents. It draws it out and I find they are just as excited to see what everyone else got. That's important. I try to have them open their presents in front of whomever gave it to them if possible so they can connect the gift with the giver."
I asked her what tradition she and her family look forward to during the holidays:
"We don't have a lot of traditions as we are a mixed family with my husband being Jewish and me being Christian. For us, the main thing is the build up and then us all being together. There is a special kind of cinnamon bread I make and we all look forward to that smell in the house."
I wanted to know what gift she was most excited about giving this year:
"My husband has a Jeannine Payer necklace with little charms of the kids' photos that he wears around his neck. He tells the kids that they are always close to his heart. They have been bugging me for the same necklaces with photos of me and Rande. I got them made and know the kids will be so happy to have us with THEM always!"
Happy holidays to all Mommies...