I’m working hard to stay upbeat and happy heading into the holidays.
In my past life the holidays meant a lot more work added to my plate – shopping, cleaning, wrapping, cards, gifts, trips to the Post Office to ship said gifts, all the kids’ events at school – and no support from my former spouse. One year, pre-divorce, I even called a family meeting and was prepared to cancel Christmas because I was overwhelmed with all that in addition to my work and volunteer stuff. But when the big day arrived, I was always grateful to have made the effort because the kids had fun and it was fun to spend the day together.
Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. No extra stuff to confuse the reason for the season – simply a day to gather around the table and remember what we’re grateful for. Sharing time with family. Eating and laughter.
This year, heading into the holidays knowing that I will not be seeing my children again is really difficult. I understand, on one level: my eldest is working in California. Yes, that’s too far to come for a dinner … even for a long weekend. My second child is working at Thanksgiving – probably to avoid having to make a choice of her father’s or my house. The last child is likely eating with his father because he’s in the same town and it’s only a long weekend.
Christmas is the same for daughter #1. The other two kids (despite my invitation to have Christmas in Florida this year) are spending the fourth of five Christmases with their father. “He’s had a tough year.” My mother died in 2008. That was a tough year. Did anybody come to my house for Christmas? Nope. And it sucks. No mother should have to loose her children because of a divorce, or a move or anything, frankly. There’s no reason not to be sharing holidays and it’s not OK.
So, once again, I face the prospects of Christmas and Thanksgiving without my kids. Nothing and nobody takes their place. I miss them terribly and I’m yearning for the “old days” with my kids … holidays are difficult. Life is difficult. I hope my patience and (sometimes) forced happy attitude will be rewarded one day. You get what you give, right?