As detailed in Landslide Preparedness and Prevention for Oceanside Residents, “In Southern California, heavy rain events have the potential to cause devastating landslides. The City of Oceanside has initiated an education program called Landslide Preparedness and Prevention for Oceanside residents.”  As property owners are responsible to protect the stability of their residences and businesses, The City of Oceanside has launched a prevention program to urge the local residents to learn how to safeguard their real estate.  These resources include links to documents, fact sheets, practical advice and resource agencies that may assist their efforts.

I am plenty jealous.  I  would love a list of links, docutments, fact sheets, practical advice and resource agencies that might assist my efforts to protect my family during this stressed out season of festive angst.  My family does not reside in Southern California, but I am The Mamma who is charged with the protection and stability of my family.  The Emergency Broadcast System has posted our home under a Familyslide Watch.  A Watch means that conditions are likely to produce an actual Familyslide.  Familyslides, and I don’t mean like those fun and wild perks found at Great Wolf Lodge, are a threat to family serenity and holiday communion.  We are in a season of heavy stress that has the potential to cause familyslides as devastating to relationships as landslides are to homes.  As such, we join other similarly situated Mammas to monitor in case any of the following indicators occur over the upcoming holiday season:

1.)  Changing familyscaping patterns such as not serving alcohol at the obligatory family meal where the resident sister alcoholic always gets trashed and makes off color remarks (especially the comments where her verbal runoff covers you or your children in jealous sewage), event juggling (make triage list of obligatory functions and stick to it exclusively), small slides, flows, or progressively leaning dynamics (cover as many lapses in judgement- your own and your children with Grace as you can.  ‘Tis not the season to micromanage, ’tis the season to survive).

2.)  Avoid all outside relational contact that stuck or jammed for the first time.  Choose to be with people who make you laugh, agree Ben & Jerry pint size containers of Cherry Garcia ice cream really are single servings, and concur that Chinese take-out is a festive Christmas Eve dinner tradition.

3.)  Beware any new cracks in the plaster, tile, brick, or foundations of your self-control.  If you are like me, you’re wound a little tight around the bobbin these days.  I like to think of it as attitude caulk.  Like today, at my son’s fencing tournament, when the crowd literally gasped at the bad calls of the ref that cost my son the match not one, but two times.  I remembered, hey, not only am I in public, but I am well boiled dry in terms of personal resources.  I only strangled him and got a black card in the dark recesses of my mind.  I metaphorically caulked my mouth shut.  It’s amazing how I can fill the cracks in my emotional plaster and give my psychic tile a face lift by simply shutting up.  If ever there were a time to know that my perceptions might be off, the sprint to Christmas after an exhausting Thanksgiving road trip is the time.

4.)  If your outside walls, walkways, or stairs begin to pull away from the family building, in other words, if you are having that run-away from home fantasy again, be of good cheer.  Such projection means you actually haven’t lost your mind.  And though you don’t get to dye your hair black, hitch hike cross country and join a motorcycle club to enjoy all that boot and leather goodness, neither are you broken, damaged or impaired.  It’s simply as normal as the tree lights all not working, or the tree falling down, or the kids sneaking the bag of red and green M&Ms up to their rooms.  Stay put, and next time you’re at Food Lion, they have a buy one get one free going on holiday M&Ms right now!

5.)  If you’re slowly developing widening cracks appearing on the ground or pavement of your attitude, it’s time to take a break.  That you just read this and spit all over the screen in disbelief is a tell tale sign you need one.  Cancel one event.  No one likes the cookies that come home in an exchange any way.  Stop.  Put on a movie and hug your kids.  Take off your bra.  Stay in.  Reduce let’s you recycle Christmas spirit and patience.

6.)  If stress is breaking underground communication lines, re. you’re snapping at your children, and blaming your husband and flushing your perspective, it’s time to re-evaluate priorities.  In fact, it’s the perfect time for actually getting that gingerbread kit out of the box and making banshee with icing in the kitchen with the kids.  Smack peppermints, nibble gumdrops and see the sweet delight of their frosting mustaches.

Were you to disregard these preparedness prevention guidelines, in the midst of a familyslide, you may notice;

Water may break through ground surfaces in unusual forms… tears on your kids cheeks, moisture in The Husband’s eyes, potty puddle from puppy.

Relational fences and retaining walls may expand and shut your heart away from the people you most love.

Faint rumbling sounds of regret may increase in volume in the foundation of your soul.

The ground may slope downward and may begin shifting in directions under your feet causing you to trip on your own tongue, strangle in the trap of your own schedule and throw you to the ground.

Unusual sounds, such as hope cracking or brittle boulders knocking together in your heart like castanets, may indicate Spiritual debris.

Collapsed esteem, mud slinging, fallen regard for consequences, and other indications of possible deterioration may be seen when taking a big breath and/or when you pause to laugh at yourself. (Embankments along high expectation sides are particularly susceptible to familyslides.)

I confess I am in a dervish of a maternalslide.  I am bringing in the sandbags in my attempt to keep the splash off my kids and their holidays.  I’ve had a stress headache every day for over three weeks.  I feel like I have a helmet of fog over my forehead and that everything is just a little bit blurry, though I am drug-free except for caffeine.  My memory is more shot than a deer on hood.  I’ve stopped eating gluten, have abstained from drinking alcohol of any kind, and have increased the intake of my fresh fruit and vegetables.  I exercise six times a week and floss daily.  I am doing everything I can do in my own strength.

Still, however, I am a millimeter away from familyslide.

As such, I realize neither my sense of humor, nor a gingerbread house is enough to shift my house upon a rock.

It is time again to recognize that I omitted the one event I can’t cancel without consequence of my peace.

It is time to pray.

Rejoice, Immanuel.

Prince of Peace!

Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
Hallelujah, Hallelujah!