I looked back at our Christmas last year to get a feel for this year.
It surely isn't the same. A tremendous amount of stress from various situations has weighed heavily on my mind and in the hearts of some of my kids. We haven't had the same Christmas cheer this holiday season, for sure, but the different feelings we have shared, I think, have been better in some ways.
We have been brought closer to one another.
My daughter curled up by the fire. We and had a two hour conversation late at night where she asked many questions. Told me many things. We learned a lot about each other. We connected the way a mother and daughter should.
My son has told me he loves me with so much meaning so many times over the last few weeks that those tender moments have also created opportunities to talk more intimately about our lives. Any parent of a 15-year old boy knows just how cherished those moments are.
This troubled season has completely solidified why my oldest son has been my best friend since he was just a little guy. I'm so glad he isn't in a hurry to "grow-up" and has no intentions of leaving the nest any time soon. He and I are still planning for the day when we move to our beach house. True, he may be 30 and still living at home, but that is the way it should be. So many cultures have many generations under one roof. Why do we get in such a hurry to "kick the kids out on their own"? Homer and I are the opposite of much of society. They don't ever have to go.... Nick was helping us design our beach commune the other night. How perfect is that?
The wonder of my little ones and their ability to let our stresses roll right off their backs is promising that this won't last forever. As long as we love each other and hold one another tight we can get through anything.
So while we are not having the carefree Christmas of past, I have the most dedicated, understanding husband and five of the most wonderful children a mom could ever hope for. We are truly blessed.
And really, really cold! :) It's -30* to -48* depending on your hill or valley. It's been nearly a month of cold temps and I can hear the tension in many voices. We are all ready for it to be over with.