One Less Stocking

I knew this day would come, it was inevitable   But for many years I did not believe it to be so. Therefore when it happened I should not have been surprised, but I was. I thought I had so much more time. Where did the time go?

I am talking of course, of the dreaded not coming home for the holidays blues. I don’t mean me, not going home,  I am talking about my children. I didn’t think about them not being around when they were growing up. In fact some days I hoped they would not be around. 

Now that the time is here, for me to share one of my sons for the holidays I must say I don’t like it. I miss him. Now that he lives far from me and has a girl friend, share I must. I love this girl my son loves and it does make it easier knowing that he is with her. However there still is this empty space at the Thanksgiving table and there is one less stocking on the fireplace this year.

The pragmatic, optimistic side of me argues with my emotions. The emotional side says he is YOUR son; therefore he needs to be with you on ALL Holidays. The practical side says, look you were blessed with 22 years of holidays with him, you knew this day would come so don’t act all surprised and emotional about it.

I still have 3 children home for the holidays, so that does lessen the sting of one not being there. My daughter is a junior in high school and my two other boys will be coming home from college.  I know I am on borrowed time with them all, especially the boys. One day soon I will get the call from one of them that says he is going to a friend for the holidays. I will put a smile on my face as I tell him to have a good time and that I will miss him. Then I will tell my self that I’m glad he has friends and hope he has a great time and I will try to mean it.

I will not make him feel guilty by my words or actions because this is what I have been working toward all his life. To leave the nest and become who he is meant to be, to go explore, to go forth and prosper. I think it’s it is selfish for parents to demand that their kids come home. Don’t get me wrong I want them home too.

I know that my kids love me and we see each other as often as we can. I don’t need them to come home at Christmas for them to show me that love.  So this year Christmas comes early, I will fly out to my son and we will have Christmas on December 5. We are doing this because he is going with his girlfriend and her parents to Hawaii for Christmas. I grudgingly have to admit, that Christmas in Hawaii with your girlfriend sounds like a lot more fun than being with your Mom in Texas.

 Yes, this holiday season will be different and different doesn’t mean bad, it just means, well, different. I will savor the moments we all can be together physically. But I know that no matter where we are, we are always a family.