I love Christmas. It's my favorite time of year. I love everything about it. Or I used to. Now, I'm facing the reality I really should have faced several years ago. My children are adults. I know, they've been adults for some time now. You know that, and even I know that. But denial is a wonderful thing and if you deny long enough, you can convince yourself it isn't so.
This Christmas my husband finally convinced me that we (and by we I mean "I") really needed to pare down the gift giving. I think his exact words were "How long do you plan on doing this?". So, we spoke to the kids and informed them that the piles of presents they are used to getting would not be coming their way this year. Surprisingly they were fine with this. Apparently, I'm the only one who has the present pile issue in our house. Shocking, huh? So, we decided to just do stockings this year. Boring. But I realize it is a necessary step in the evolution of our family. Doesn't mean I have to like it. And, I've tried to convince myself with all the "right" things like:
This is not what the season is about.
They are adults, they've grown up, time for you to do the same.
Someday you will have grandkids and you can spoil them.
Yeah, yeah, yeah...whatever. Didn't help. Just made me realize how much I really HATE the fact that my kids are grown ups. And to make matters worse, this will be the first year we will not all be together for Christmas. While I knew this would happen, and I've already gone through it at Thanksgiving, Christmas is different somehow. It hurts, but I know it's inevitable and something I am forced to deal with. (Side note to my child who may read this: it is NOT your fault, do not feel guilty, it is my issue).
While I try to put on a good face to the world, a little piece of me dies inside every time I have to face this. You see, for most of my adult life I've defined myself as a mother. It's all ever wanted to be. And yes, I realize that I'm still, and always will be, their mother. But now it's time to redefine the roll. Here is the most confounding thing about parenting: You try and raise them to be strong, independent, self sufficient citizens of the world, and then, when that's what happens, you hate it. You protect them with your very life, only to release them to the perils of the world. That is the part of being a mom that I do not like. But I will deal with it. I will redefine my role and I will be thankful for it.
This Christmas I will buy less and be thankful more. Thankful for three of the most beautiful creations God put on this earth. Thankful for a husband who puts up with all my nonsense and loves me in spite of it. Thankful for a full and wonderful life. Those are gifts money can't buy and I will try to be deserving of them.
Merry Christmas to all and God Bless us Everyone!
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