Monday, December 24, 2018

Christmas Eve 2018

After ordering more than one set of Christmas cards, I finally got some that are usable.  The issues were cutting off one of the kids in a family photo.  A cropped version of said photo that looked too weird.  And another with one member of the family's name forgotten.

Yesterday, Nick and I finally got the cards ready and in envelopes and addressed.  Nick worked for a long time getting the letter lined up on the festive paper so that all of the information was legible. 

Nick had some paperwork dealing with his mom's estate.  He worked on that too.  So today we went to the post office and mailed everything.  I still have a few cards for sending overseas. Those will have to wait.

Nick and I are on our own this evening- Christmas Eve.  It's fine.  It's like most of our quiet evenings.

Tomorrow is Christmas.  I am not sure which of the two sons who live in Virginia will come and when.

For so much of my adult life Christmas has been a very difficult .  So much conflict dealing with my divorced parents.  And all the obligations.  Visit this one, visit that one, visit siblings, visit in laws.     Exhausting.   Depressing.   Hard.

Once we had Courtney, first baby, some of that eased up.  Family wanted to come to us.   Although I do remember going to my inlaws for Courtney's first Christmas, which means we probably went to my mom's too. 

At my in laws house there was no pressure or stress.  Nothing to prove.  No judgement .   I wasn't too fat or too thin.  My hair was fine.  My mother in law never said to me "what the hell did you do to your hair?'  My mother did.say mean, judgemental things to me and pretty much everyone.

I know that my mother loved me.  She really did.  But she was so hurt and damaged and angry about her own life that she didn't have the ability, strength of skills to show compassion.   She was very judgemental.  I remember as a kid, my mom complained that my dad left whiskers in the bathroom sink when he shaved.  I'm sure they never talked about it.  She felt disrespected and got angry.

I carried a lot of those expectations and anger into marriage, and unfortunately, into mothering.

Only through the exposure to mothers at La Leche League and their gentle approach to parenting I cannot imagine the wrath my children would have faced on a daily basis.

I know that I was hard on the kids and occasionally hurt their feelings.  I hope I didn't do too much damage.     I love my children so much it hurts.

The overseas holidays were always the best ones.were when we were overseas.   We could be wistfully homesick, but we had out own family, our kids, which was our home.   We even spent Christmas in a hotel the year Chance was born.   But, it was a good holiday.

If any of my kids have conflict between them, it makes me sad.  For them to judge each other negatively, hurts me.  I won't tell them not to talk to me about what is bothering them.  I am happy that the kids can share.  I just hurt because I cannot take sides.  I love them all.

One day I'll be dead.  Not for a long time I hope.  But I hope that my children can be civil.

It's Christmas Eve.    Joy to the world!     

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