It is the day after Christmas, it’s 5ish pm and I’m in bed. I woke up really early today because I couldn’t sleep and I ended up at the grocery store at 6:30 this morning. We are stocked with half-priced wrapping paper and other half-priced holiday goodies. I came home to a house that is way too quiet. I tried to stay busy, making our house look a little less like a Christmas explosion, getting gifts put away, and boxes broken down but right now I am just missing you, like I did yesterday.
You left yesterday morning, at 9:00 to spend Christmas with your Dad and family out-of-state. We had two full days of Christmas celebrations with all of our favorite people before you left. We didn’t miss a tradition, if anything we made more this year. We have had a great Christmas together! You woke up at home Christmas morning and I got to watch you open your Santa gifts. I know this was probably your last Santa year and maybe even this year was a stretch. Thank you for humoring me and staying “a kid” for as long as possible, I’m proud you “still believe”. Thank you for not growing up too fast.
Trust me, I know life’s lemons come in all shapes and sizes. I am not complaining (maybe a little) but this is just a reality of co-parenting. I know I got “my time” but there was something about Christmas “the day” and not being with you that made me incredibly anxious. I cried my way through the entire day, you would have had better luck finding things that didn’t make me cry yesterday. I cried my way through church, opened a present, cried. Listened to a song, cried. The sky was gray and rainy, guess what? I cried.
You’re eight hours away. I hate the idea that IF something was to happen, IF you were to need me, I couldn’t get to you right away. If ever there lived a “smother mother” who worried too much, I confess, I am her. Stage 5 Mom Clinger? Tag, I am it.
You are my entire world and you are currently out of reach. The biggest piece of my heart, you, are eight hours away. It is strange to me that I don’t know what you’ve eaten today, what you’re wearing, what funny things you’ve said, are you really doing a good job brushing your teeth?
I know you’ll make it home later this week and we’ll be back to our routine, which I love, but I haven’t stopped praying since you left and I won’t stop until you walk through that door. I can’t shake fear. “No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear…” C.S. Lewis
When we are not together, a piece of who I am, is wherever you are.
Hear me when I say this. I hope you are having the time of your life, even if you aren’t brushing your teeth for the full two minutes. Be 10, hang with Dad, make a mess, get your clothes dirty, eat lots of Mammaw’s hash-brown casserole, let Pappaw pick on you about how many girlfriends you have back home. You are so deserving of all things good and wonderful in this world. Mom worries enough for the both of us, please just be a kid. You know life will throw lemons, I hope I can show you how to pick them up and throw them right back!
I’m working on letting go of fear. I’m working on living in the moment. I want to silence those what ifs. Mommy isn’t there yet but I will get there because you are watching me. I had a great Christmas but I also stole some of my own joy because of fear. Don’t be cautiously happy, just be happy! Lemons, kiddo. Don’t be afraid of lemons.
(For Kim: the best lemon wrangler I’ve ever met. Thank you for teaching me how to throw lemons and laugh at them when they fall. I love you.)