The little girl in me (not the one in my womb, the one in my psyche) really wants to go home now. I am fighting with my natural tendency to be too introspective and wallow in my emotions, and the more mature feelings I have about thankfulness, love for my little family and what I can give them, and deep gratitude for what Christmas actually is.
Perhaps it’s because Christmas has almost always been an exemplary time in my family- and I know what we are missing being up in the frozen (but beginning to thaw) northwest. Already I waxed on about what the holidays are like at my family’s, and I don’t need to do it again, but facing Christmas Eve with the same group that we had Thanksgiving with leaves me feeling a little morose. Oh, I know I need to pull myself up by my bootstraps and count my blessings, and I intend to do just that, as soon as I cry a little bit.
One of my dearest friends is in the same little boat with me right now. She is in Colorado with only her fiance for company, which is not bad, but she loves her extended family as much as I do; in fact our parents are very close friends. When you have had the wonderful warm-fuzzy Christmas and grew up thinking that was the norm, being far away can be especially lonesome. I know, I know- Whaaah. Poor me.
It’s just that I miss my mom. Do you ever get over that? Are you ever too old or too jaded by life to stop wanting your mom? I’m not, and I am not ashamed to admit it.
Right now I wish my kids were asleep in the guest bedroom in my mom’s house, that my dear husband was snoozing in the family room with my step-dad while they pretend to watch old re-runs on Nick at Night, and my brothers and I were lounging around the living room with my mom, staring at the hypnotically spinning Christmas tree in the front window. Something about the spinning tree draws people in, and we always end up in there talking, with only the lights of the tree on. It is the closeness with the people who are dearest to me that I cherish the most. Taking on the phone, taking video and mailing packages cannot replace the intimacy and tenderness of shared time and proximity. This is what I miss most.
So really, things are great. My family is close, we are all basically healthy, and we have many rich and varied blessing to be grateful for. The Plan in for us to be there next year, and that is something to look forward to. My job, in the here and now, is to help my children feel the Spirit of Christmas, to know how much they are loved, and to cherish my role in being their mom.
And it’s ok that I miss my mom.