|Saying Good-Night to our Christmas tree last night before bed.|
I open a kitchen cupboard and notice a large package of cinnamon gummy bears hidden on a high shelf and I smile as I bring it down to the counter. My sons are on the couch, talking about movies as usual and I know they will love these!
In the same moment, as my arm lowers to the counter with the prize, I have a flashback of my own mom pulling one treat after another out of her overcrowded cupboards when the house was full of us at Christmas time.
I am rewarded by a big smile from one son and a loud "YES! Cinnamon bears!" from the other.
Some of this post is not going to resonate with my younger readers. Even those who are only 10 years younger than I. Forty-nine is not the same experience as fifty-nine. It just isn't.
My mom has been gone for three years and with each passing day I find her in myself. The good and the bad. It's an odd feeling, but not altogether good or bad. It just is. Christmas magnifies her presence/absence because she was an over-the-top holiday celebrator. We felt her presence this year and had an impromptu little "remember the time she..." conversation with all the family here this year. It was sweet and comforting.
But to see and feel myself doing and saying what she would say is really puzzling and somewhat dizzying. Did she experience this ache to know her kids better? Did she want desperately to fix every little thing in our lives? Did she lose sleep over our choices and wonder if a word spoken here or there would help or hurt?
The puzzling part is that she and I definitely had our differences over the years. It often felt like we were never on the same page at the same time. We honestly frustrated one another more than once. How odd to find myself walking in her shoes and realizing what was behind some of her actions and words. I am learning to respond differently sometimes, weighing what she would do and what I want to do. I would hope that my children would do the same. We can use the past to make the future a better place.
So here I am in the last few months of my 59th year and I am sort of enjoying the thought of turning 60 soon. It still sounds ridiculously old to my ears, but I am embracing my age and this stage of life. After all, I became a GRANDMA this year and that is a totally good and positive thing!
I love being a mother-in-law, a grandmother, and a mother to grown-up kids. When I was a young mom I dreaded these days. I had no idea how fun and joyful it would be when the "kids" and their loves are here with us. I kept grabbing my sons and just holding them tight, trying to transfer the love I was feeling back into them. How can they know what I feel? There are no words...even for a major word-aholic like me!
As I reached into the cupboard for those cinnamon bears, I knew the joy of providing joy for my kids. I know that my own mom was feeling the same thing...even though her cupboards held trays and trays of home-made fudge, cinnamon rolls, orange peel candy and did I say AMAZING FUDGE?
Gonna need to get busy earlier next year.
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