Usually, I love Christmas. Our house is always a hubbub of activity. Baking, decorating, friends, family and love. This year I am barely going through the motions. The tree is up. Homemade chocolates are made. Curtesy of my husband and my youngest, the house is lit up outside. Gifts are wrapped. However, maybe 1/3 of our decorations have been put up. Not one single get together has occurred here. My heart just isn’t in it. I made up but didn’t even send, the Christmas cards. Every Christmas carol sounds melancholy and fake instead of soothing or chipper.
Recently we have been struggling as a family. Our children are growing up and trying to figure out who they are going to be. My husband and I are missing our little munchkins. That point in your life when you see your kids pulling away and becoming more independent is terrifying. How is it that we are not the centre of their universe anymore? They are still ours. Why do things have to change? Can’t they just stay our sweet little babies forever? Or even just a little longer? Why did I not realize that having kids sets you up for the inevitable heartbreak of watching them leave you? Off to college……if only that were the way they go. No, before the physical move is the emotional one. Suddenly you realize when your child is hurt or angry they aren’t running to you to make it better. They run to friends and girlfriends or boyfriends. You are suddenly demoted from queen of their world to an annoyance that just has to knock on their door when they are clearly busy on the phone. Instead of being the one they look to to fix what hurts, you are left in the dark with a shrug of the shoulders and an unconvincing,” nothing’s wrong mom.”
Cue the panic. The overwhelming urge to reconnect. The bewilderment of going from super mom to super-pain-in-the-ass-mom. It starts off with sadness but turns to anger. How dare you shut me out? I gave birth to you! I dedicated my life to you. On their part is equal bewilderment. What’s your problem? What’s the big deal? Why are you so upset? So many discussions. So many arguments. So many tears. All, just to be needed. There is a reason they call it growing pains.
So, this year Christmas just isn’t the same. There is no Santa, no sweet eager faces to believe in him. No feeling of excitement and joy.
Maybe, it doesn’t have to be this way though. We should focus on the fact that our boys are both still home. They both still hug and kiss us frequently and not a day goes by without an, I love you, from them. Neither is out getting in trouble or failing in school. They are not intentionally rude or disrespectful. They are just growing up and trying to discover who they want to be.
A little teen angst, an awful lot of reminders to do chores, some eye rolling and occasional impertinence, all things I can handle. Not being asked to kiss the emotional boo boo……not so much.