Stories about travel, life, writing and parenting my college-age children (who think they don't need any more parenting). Oh! And the occasional amazing photograph (I like to play pro photographer on vacations.)
I'm deep into Christmas preparations (like so many of you!) and spending as much time as possible talking with my girl who is home from college, my hubs who is officially on vacation, and my boy--in between his many social engagements. So in light of this, I'm taking a little bloggie break.
But never fear! I'll not abandon my blog completely during this time. To add an uplifting moment to your holiday season, I'm posting a video I posted several years ago. It has since inspired a massive international movement, but I'm going to share the 2006 video that I originally posted. I promise, if you haven't already seen it (and even if you have) it's totally worth the short commercial you must endure to watch it. Enjoy!
The other day, my son told me a story which he found most amusing. An acquaintance of his turned eighteen. Amidst birthday congrats posted on her Facebook page from various friends, her mother added the comment, “Woo Hoo! I’m free! I’m free!”
I laughed out loud along with him, then I commented, “But you know, we’re never really free. We’ll always be ‘the mom’ (or dad).”
Then I started thinking about how our parenting role keeps changing over time. With the changes getting more dramatic as our kids age. Lately I’ve been freaking out about the fact that very soon I won’t be a “…freelance writing, happily married mom of two teens.” It’s not the “freelance writing, happily married” part, but the changing “mom of two teens” part that’s causing the freak.
I believe I’ve mentioned in the past that my daughter’s birthday is on Christmas Day. My due date back in 1991 was December 16th, and as it got further and further into December without our unborn child even hinting at a debut, I remember I started praying. “Okay God, please make it any day but Christmas. Any day but Christmas. Any day but Christmas…”
If anyone out there doesn’t think God has a sense of humor, I can assure you he was most likely laughing uproariously when he had our little package delivered (Sorry honey, couldn’t resist the pun!) at 10:47 a.m. Christmas morning. I’m sure he was like, “Puh-leeeze! Your names are Chris & Holly! What other day would I have your sweet baby girl arrive!”
But I digress; it’s not her birth story that’s causing me to freak either. It’s the year. Our sweet, baby girl is turning TWENTY!
One-fifth of a Century.
How can I be the parent of a twenty-year old!
Part of the problem is that although in “real life” I’m 49 years old, inside the imaginary world in which I dwell, I’m a super-cool twenty something. My body knows it’s 49 as evidenced by my annoying knee twinges, plantar fasciitis, biceps tendonitis, blah, blah, blah. But in my head I only graduated from college a few years ago.
I’m not the only one who thinks like this, am I?
It’s like, all this stuff keeps happening that logically I should know is going to happen, and yet, always seems to catch me by surprise.
Like when our oldest graduated from high school and went off to college. Or when our youngest began learning to drive.
And now this. In ten days I’ll no longer be a mother of teens. My role is changing. Again.
But time waits for no man, or mom. So I must press on. And in so doing, I come to the truly important part of this post. What am I supposed to do with my bio on here? Since I can no longer refer to myself as a “mom of two teens,” what am I? I don’t even know how to explain myself anymore. The mom of a twenty and teen? A mom of kids who are bigger than I am? Help me out here, people. Any suggestions?
I just attended my second funeral within two weeks. And while I do not park myself in the “bad things happen in threes” camp, it does feel a bit strange to have them happen so close together like this.
Whenever life-altering events like these happen around the holidays, they seem magnified for some reason. Even without dealing with funerals, it’s easy to let ourselves get dragged down by all the inherent stress that typically accompanies this time of year, to let minor speed bumps become massive potholes.
Like letting myself get seriously annoyed at the company that messed up my carefully crafted Christmas card collage. Or raging at the high-tech printer which took longer to spit out my mailing labels than if I'd hand-addressed them myself. Or to grumble over ruined cookie dough.
To sweat the small stuff.
So I’m flipping the switch. I’ve decided my “third thing” is going to be a GOOD thing. Attending these funerals has reminded me how important it is to focus on every good thing in life. That it’s our relationships which really matter. Spending quality and quantity time with the people we love.
…And the people that crack us up with their outrageous antics, shocking behavior and hilarious stories.
That’s right. I’m talking about Girls Night!
This Saturday night, I’m hanging with my Babes. They are some of the brightest lights of my life. And I’m talking the funky, iridescent, twinkling, singing (Nora!) kind. My Babes are technically my Bunco Babes. Although, whenever I mention “It’s Bunco night, baby!” to my hubs, he just rolls his eyes. Because we haven’t actually played Bunco in er…well, a few years. But that’s not the point.
I’m sure it’s a proven scientific fact that women have an actual physical need to talk. When these 12+ women and I get together once a month, it’s less about playing Bunco than it is about sharing, venting, bonding, giggling and laughing uproariously. And baby, I can use some belly laughs right about now. Salve to my soul!
So, if you aren’t already, I encourage you to join me in focusing on the good stuff. During this season of rush here, hurry there… just stop. Breathe. Think of everything you have to be grateful for. Write it all down. And if you don’t already have Babes of your own, get some!