Monday, December 31, 2012

Joy rises in me, like a summer’s morn...

 My title is the second-to-last line of a poem called A Christmas Carol by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. It is about the birth of Christ through the lens of Mary's experience. The mother in the story of Christmas. I had a Mother's day on this Christmas 2012 and wanted to write a few things down to remember.
  • Not all my children were home, but I knew that everyone was happy and where they wanted to be. That mattered a lot to me. 
  • Through the magic of technology, I was able to talk to and interact with all my kids. That was truly wonderful. 
  • Those of us who were here in MD spent time together that felt authentic and meaningful as we went out for dinner on Christmas Eve and helped each other with cooking, cleaning, wrapping and all other preparations. I really felt a sense of unity and sweetness, which I treasure. My kids always jump in and work together nicely when I ask them to, and it warms my heart. 
  • I feel so blessed that my kids are good friends. Both to each other and to others. I love watching them with the people outside our family that they love. It makes me happy that our house was for them a launchpad to the larger world, a world that brings them joy. That's part of my job as a mom, to help them want to engage, to feel the world is a good place, and to not fear to leave home. 

  • I got to consider the meaning of gifts at Christmas as I came to terms with the fact that my kids in California had no gifts to open from me on The Big Morning. My box was mailed on Dec. 7 but was not there. It was hard to think about them having no tokens of my affection to pass through their hands on such a day as Christmas, but they were quick to reassure me that it was okay. I had some seriously sad moments about it, and was grateful to those who understood and really tried to comfort me. They were all so kind to me in my irrational sadness. Naturally, the gifts arrived just after Christmas and all was well, but I'm glad for the chance to think about all these things we wrap up and send and worry about and what they really mean. (I realized they really do mean love, but there are some other things mixed in that could stand to be evaluated.)

  • My daughter asked if we could do a service project together as a family, which request meant so much to me. We were too late to sign up for anything big, but we did put some effort into a couple of small, simple things, and those little moments do stand out and sparkle in my memory. I can hardly express fully why it was so touching to me that she wanted to do that, but it's wrapped up in the fact that she's becoming such a wonderful young woman and this was a sign of what she values. 

In summary, it's been a time of cozy closeness and filled up my senses in a really satisfying way. I love hearing my young ones laughing together as they make cookies and clean up the kitchen and just chat in the family room. It's perfect to me. Since they've been home, we haven't "done" anything. No museum visits, no outings, no super-planned days. Just us. Together at home.
I can't even think of anything better.

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