Thursday, January 7, 2010

All under one roof...for the moment

Happy New Year! It's been ages I know. No real excuses except that it's been the holidays, need I say more?

We did it, we had another Christmas with all four kids (Gen Yers) under one roof! Why do I make a big deal about it? Because I can feel the shift's been more than a few years that we've had all four for New Year's...ever since high school the kids have chosen to go elsewhere, (much more fun to be without parents on New Year's Eve, don'tchyaknow) and now that they're older, it's not so much "without parents" it's all about wanting to be with their peers, their significant others...I get that. But's different... With two kids in the real world making decisions about how they spend their paid vacation time, that particular holiday, depending on how it falls in the week, can reak havoc with the "days" off they get and whether or not they can make the trek home, using days off for travel. I know our Christmases as a nuclear family are numbered and that's OK, it's how it's supposed to be, but I treasure the ones that we've had.

You know it's different when it's just your own nuclear family than when you add in grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and I'm told that it's a more significant difference when it's a significant other of one of your kid's. Over the years your family has become accustomed to the various family nuances that grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. have, but with a significant other they come to the table from a whole other family and traditions. Not to mention privacy. There have been many movies made on the subject of going home for the holidays and all that's entailed and I can certainly relate. But I relate to the part of being the "out-law" and what it's like joining another family during a holiday celebration. What's different for me is being that family and having someone joining our celebration. This is going to be an adjustment. Now I don't want to over think this, because it has happened yet. And I'm sure it's going to be fine, but I do know that I have a wee bit of trouble sharing nicely in the sandbox. I love having everyone to my sandbox, I just don't like it when some have to go to other's sandboxes. Do you know what I mean?

A close girlfriend of mine now has a married daughter and this was the first Thanksgiving and Christmas navigating these waters. Well, Thanksgiving the newlyweds went to the bride's family's and Christmas to the groom's. Sounds reasonable, right? Well, after checking in: From my girlfriend's perspective (the Mom perspective, which of course I relate to) Thanksgiving was great because everyone was together plus one (the groom); they had an "early Christmas" with the newlyweds, but the siblings couldn't be there because of school and job. In retrospect that may have been kind of nice...alone time with the newlyweds. But when the actual holiday came, the dynamic was different without their daughter. Oh it was nice and everyone had a good time, but when the phone rang and it was the daughter calling from her was a serious pull to the ol' heartstrings. For both mother and daughter. Everyone kept a stiff upper lip and shared each of their Christmases via the phone... but were a few tears shed after hanging up? Not that everyone's not happy for the newlyweds new life together and all that goes with it, just a little cry over missing times gone by. I know that will be me! I'm going to have to work on this!

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