It's Christmas. That alone is enough to bring out the old, familiar melancholia. But I had it beat for a while. For a few years it went into hibernation. This year woke it up.
It's weird to feel like a stranger in your own life. With your own kids. In your own family that you created. Of course I knew that it was going to be different. That it would change when the girls grew up. But it changed too soon. Everything did.
I guess it's another of those times when I thought I would have more time. But you never have more time. Life happens right now. It's a fucking game of hide-and-seek: ready or not, here I come!
Part of me really wants some Christmas magic to dump all over me like a blinding blizzard and bury all my worries, fears, frustrations...sadness. Just for one day - well, maybe like, a day-and-a-half (it is Christmas Eve, after all!).
Maybe it will. Until then, I'll have to muddle through, somehow...it's never as bleak in the real world as it seems in my mind. There is a disturbing solace in that fact. It was just so much easier when the girls were little. When they didn't criticize every move I make. Hopefully they'll decide to give me a little bit holiday happiness for Christmas this year. It could happen.
Last year - another weird year (but not as weird as this one) because it was Savannah's first year of college and she was just home for Christmas - Gabi actually had an endearing Christmas epiphany. I think it might have been even before any presents or stockings had even been opened and she looked at me and said, "How did you get so good at Christmas, Mom? I was thinking about it last night, and you are really good at Christmas. You do all this stuff to make it special and it's always awesome, and I just wondered how you got so good at it."
This year they're both home for Christmas after living elsewhere. And I guess I expected it to feel either normal or special. And it mostly feels awkward. I feel unclear as to my role and I feel like I'm walking on eggshells trying so hard to please everyone - and we all know that I don't like to do that. I think I'll just take a deep breath, remember Gabi's words of Christmas past and put on my smile. If that doesn't do the trick, I'm sure there's a glass of wine out there somewhere with my name on it.