I feel sad today. It's probably nothing more than the seasonal blues, and the fact that it's gray out, and raining. And I miss my kids. I've been so happy of late, puttering with my love in our empty nest, the two of us so at ease, and me in a state of wonder that I had actually arrived at this place, having come to terms with the fact of my children out in the world, away from my oversight, making all sorts of adult life changing decisions without my input. But today, I am missing them something fierce. My daughter will be away this Christmas, starting next weekend, upstate with her boyfriend's family, a rotation they decided on when he joined us for Thanksgiving this year. My son may still come over on Christmas eve and wake up under our roof on Christmas morning, but it will be the first year that it's not the four of us, and of course, it had to happen sometime. He will spend Christmas eve with his girlfriend's family in New Jersey and then come here, and quiet as it's kept, he's saving my Christmas by being here.
I don't know how to do Christmas as an adult. They is no way to recreate the large extended family of aunts and uncles and cousins and revelry, all the generations, getting together at one house, then another then another all season long. Now we are a lonely outpost in New York City, and I just feel melancholy as Christmas approaches, even though I made a kind of peace with how different Christmas is for me now compared to how I was taught it should be during my growing up years. I chose acceptance of this a few years ago when my daughter put her hands on my shoulders and said, "Mom, this is how we do Christmas. Low key is our tradition, and I love it."
This year, it doesn't help that I am completely at a loss when it comes to gifts. I know the main gifts I'm getting my husband and kids, but I always like to wrap up other little things for them, so the base of the Christmas tree looks full, and the opening of gifts will last longer. My husband shakes his head at this. He is of the school of thought that one gift per person is enough. But I sense that even he is feeling a bit of melancholy this year. This morning he said, "We should have a standing holiday event that we invite all our friends, to." When he said it, I just felt overmatched, though I didn't let on.
We went to a tree trimming party at one of our neighbor's homes last night, a woman whose son went to school with our son from pre-K through high school. It was our fourth year going to this event, which started as a housewarming when she moved into our complex. A couple of families of the children who went to school with our children have lately moved into our complex. We meet and chat on the pathways and even sit on committees together, and the man and I always talk about inviting them over. But so far we haven't. I think I just don't have to entertaining gene that my mother so richly possessed. Oh well, enough poor me. If I started counting my blessings instead, the list would be plenty long.