Skip to main content

The Christmas blahs

I had great intentions for this blog this month. Really upbeat and positive intentions: I'd planned on writing about all my favorite holiday things -- baking cookies with my little one, picking out and trimming the perfect Christmas tree, wrapping gifts with a bottle of wine in front of the fire -- but so far the month has gotten away from me. (As I'm sure it has for you, so you probably haven't even had time to stop here and notice the lack of posting going on.) I love Christmas, especially now that I have a small child to share the wonder with. But it's a difficult time for me, as it is for most of us I'm sure, because every now and then I'm just knocked down by a wave of melancholy -- I think of my mom or my grandparents or the Christmases of my childhood, and even though they're all good memories, there are holes there now.

I've been trying hard, really hard, to keep the melancholy at bay this year. After all, I want Christmas to be as fun and exciting for my son as it always was for me as a child. We've been enjoying the season, and I was feeling all sorts of Christmasy a couple weeks ago -- poppy Christmas songs on the radio, cookies baking in the oven, lights twinkling all over the house. But then I got bad news about a friend, a dear woman I worked with, who died on December 4. I attended the funeral on December 10, and even though it was a really upbeat funeral, relatively speaking, the melancholy has crept in and I haven't been able to shake it. The rational side of me knows that I should not be so deeply affected by this loss, but I worked with June for 10 years, and I guess I took it for granted that she'd always be there in the office, popping in to tell me about a silly article she'd read or something she saw in the news that reminded her of me. And I'm sorry that I never got to tell her in person how much I cared for her, how much I appreciated the friendship she showed when I first met her at that crazy time in my life, how much I learned from her about being a good editor, or how much her mere presence in the world filled it up. I'll miss her, for sure.

Then today, just as I had started to get through these feelings over losing June, I got word that a friend's baby son died this past weekend. He had just turned 1 in September, and I had just met him a few weeks ago. I was on my way to pick up my own son at preschool when I took the call, and when I walked into the preschool -- when I saw all those beautiful, healthy kids running and playing without a care in the world -- I was overwhelmed. I stood like an oaf in the middle of the preschool gym and I cried. My heart is broken for my friend and her family. But at the same time, I realize how blessed I am, how fortunate I am that my son is here in front of me. How unfair life is.

So here I am, a week before Christmas, not feeling so jolly, despite every effort to keep smiling and singing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 1001 times with Sweet Boy. I haven't done much shopping at all, haven't wrapped any gifts, haven't sent a single card. And tonight I don't really care if I do. I'm just not feeling it. My Top 10 Favorite Christmasy Things post can wait until next week.

Comments

  1. Oh, Tori. My condolences to your friend and her family. I cannot bear the thought of anyone losing a child, and although I don't know them, my heart aches for them. I can understand how it has thrown off the joy of the Christmas season, especially since you were already reeling from June's death.

    Christmas is always an imperfect time that should be filled w/joy but in reality is filled w/whatever life has brought us this year and in past years around the same time. It can be a very hard part of the calendar to negotiate and come out the other side feeling whole and well.

    I will pray for your friend's family as they deal with this unimaginable loss, and I'll be thinking of you as well.

    ReplyDelete
  2. T-
    As always, we are here to support you! As I said yesterday, my heart goes out to our old High School friend who is having a terrible christmas this year.

    But do me a favor and give Sweet boy a hug and a kiss- extra long hug and take that moment to send your love to the Baker family. Then go run and dance with sweet boy and remember that life must move forward. Take this christmas and savor every moment with him . . .this christmas will be the greatest one with him!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Grace happens

Today Honey's roommate in room 364 at Maine Medical Center was discharged. Some other day I'll tell you about why Honey is in the hospital again, but this story is about the roommate because it's way more interesting. Let's call him Elton, because all I really know about him is he plays guitar in an Elton John tribute band and he's originally from the very northern part of England, bordering Scotland. (Or as Honey described it, "that place in England where the Roman Empire decided, nope, those Celts are crazy, and put up a wall.")

Elton was in room 364 before Honey arrived, and what struck me immediately, besides his delightful accent and soothing Liam-Neeson-esque voice, was his gentle, good-natured manner. He was going through heck from a botched surgery and compartment syndrome - pain and gore and fear of losing the use of his dominant hand - yet he spoke kindly and softly to every person who came into his room. Every time a nurse walked in, Elton gree…

Math lessons

I was really great at school as a kid...but I'm really lousy at school as a parent. And I was reminded once again of this while sitting at my son's conference yesterday.

Seventh grade has been hard on all of us. Beyond the obvious physical changes -- Happy has grown at least 5" since this summer and now looks me in the eye (yeah, remember I'm super tall!), his voice is weird, he can't get out of his own way -- we're all trying to navigate his ever-changing need for independence. His teachers want him to take more responsibility for his learning, which in theory sounds like a great plan for all kids at this age; they have to not only learn how to learn but also learn how to advocate for their learning.

In reality, though, when you're the world's most laid-back 12-almost-13-year-old who really only wants to listen to music, play drums, video games, and action figures, taking responsibility and advocating for your learning is not highest priority. In fact…

Happy curls?

I dreaded the passing of the peace each Sunday when I was a little girl. Every week the old church ladies would comment about my hair...
    "Shirley Temple curls!" they cooed; I didn't know who Shirley Temple was.
    "So soft!" they petted; I didn't want their wrinkly, gnarled fingers on my head.
    "I pay a lot of money to have hair like yours!" they exclaimed; I couldn't figure out why anyone would pay money for frizzy, fluffy, brillo-pad hair.

I hated my curls. I felt embarrassed by my hair -- it was short, kinky, cut badly -- quite different from the long straight hair my friends all wore at the time in my life when I just wanted to fit in. Oh, how I wanted a ponytail! Or a braid...to braid my hair on a Sunday morning with ribbons hanging down, that was a dream.

Today during the passing of the peace, I found myself next to one of the older ladies in our church. Every week I marvel at her elegance, the way the dresses, the slow and grace…