Friday, December 16, 2016

December is celebration time

It is the holiday season.  Lights and decorations festoon the house.  A tree is a glow in the living room, overburdened as usual with a plethora of ornaments.  Many made by the kids over the years, treasured by us sentimental parents.  I remember my first "grown up" trees when I moved out on my own.  They were artfully decorated. Every bulb matched or coordinated.  The garland was placed just so.  Nowadays?  I look for the home made "elf" ornaments we did of each kid one year.  I look for the ornaments that our kids have made for us. The ones with a photo of us at a favorite place on summer vacation.  The first ornament my wife and I bought together. etc etc.  It is, as my KC wisely says, about the memories.  I can save the color coordinated tree for a fond memory in the past, or perhaps a hopefully long distant future when the last of my kids have set sail fully on their own life paths.

We are at that cross roads where schedules and interests are changing up what the holidays have been for us.  There are traditions that are still fairly sacrosanct.  The great house decorating day.  Cookie baking. Music. Travelling around looking at lights.  But some things, are changing.  There is less reading aloud of holiday stories. There was no mural this year.  The kids have more get togethers with friends these days. There were several nights of making some really cool gifts.

I try not to over program but admit to failing pretty epically at that this year. With Chet, when he was our only, it was pretty easy to avoid that trap. And honestly in his case it was imperative that I do so.  He can not handle too much hype.  As an adult, he knows he doesn't WANT the hype and just opts out.  But the youngers?  Well, it is fun and they are young for a second, or so it seems.

So we have had a lot of extra activities and there will be more this weekend.   More gifts made for friends. A free movie showing at a local juice bar with friends. Last night Lissa went to a gingerbread man decorating event while I was at the dance school with KC. (Thank goodness for a wide and caring group of friends who helped with transporting Lissa to the event as I have yet to master cloning myself)

Today I worked only a 1/2 day because most of the family will see the new Star Wars movie at 12:30 and I was on call to pick up Rob from the train.  And today, Lissa is 10.  Double digits for my youngest!  She woke up early this morning at 6:10, sooooo excited to finally be 10.  No more babies in my house!  She is such a sweet, yet sassy little minx.  With a wit beyond her years, she can hold her own with the older kids.  Yet the tender side of her is evident when she is working with the animals, most especially with her puppy Luna. She is smart and analytical in her thinking and an excellent problem solver.  She is a good friend and I am lucky to be her Ooma.

I still remember the December she came home--it was a December we were not sure we would be able to get back to MA in time for Christmas because of the interstate compact taking forever. Paperwork around the holiday time can get a little wonky!  But we did get home and I remember vividly her in her baby carrier by the tree on Christmas morning.  KC was barely 3 and lisped "Merry Christmas sissy".    I remember wondering what her personality would be like.  I remember feeling I was woefully underqualified to parent a girl, having had 3 boys--Fiona though my daughter has not lived in our home full time.  I worried that I wouldn't figure out the girly stuff.

Little did I know that I would not have to figure it out.  Lissa has a style sense that is all her own and she is independent in her thinking. Honestly it wouldn't matter if I WAS a stylish person because she wants to figure things out on her own.  Sometimes the strength of her will exhausts me, but at the end of the day, I am abudantly grateful for it.  The world can be a hard place and she will need that strength in the years to come. She will need to know that she is good, and smart and capable.  That she has the right to dream and the power to make dreams into realities.  Happy Birthday Lissa!  I love you so much.

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