Thursday, December 24, 2015

Someday You'll Understand What That Means

For the first six years of our daughter Josephine's life, the two of us were pretty much inseparable. For the next six years we continued to be one another's most constant companions. As she became a teenager, her friends began to supplant me, which is the way it should be, but she was still there on the mornings, evenings, and weekends.

For the past four months, she has lived in a different city on the opposite side of the country, attending university.

She is now home for five full weeks before once more winging away to her life apart from us, and I wouldn't have it any other way, but I'm sure going to cherish the diddly-o-dandy out of the next month.

Over the course of the past couple weeks, as the children have discussed their holiday plans, they've all spoken of the gifts they expect to receive, but that's something we do to them, I think, with all our talk about Santa or eight presents in eight days or whatever. It hasn't taken much digging to learn about the truly exciting thing: the travel and the travelers. 

"We're going to Colorado to see Nana and Papa!"

"Grandma is going to be sleeping in my bedroom!"

"I'm going to Sacramento see my California cousins!"

And I shared with them, "My little girl is coming home from New York!" The kids, of course, don't really get it -- the idea of living apart from mom and dad is too much for them. I spoke with several of their parents, many of whom told me about their own first holidays home from college, unconsciously assuming the perspective of the child.

I've been cooking breakfast for my girl. If you don't already, someday, far sooner than you think, you'll understand what that means.

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Ann said...

I understand exactly what you mean, as my son, too, is home from his freshman year on his holiday break. He also happens to celebrate his birthday on December 23, so we had a little dinner party for him. His dad and I are divorced, but we share the memories of his birth, of much of his childhood. As we recounted some of those memories . . . the color of his eyes when he was born, his gentle demeanor as a child, how he used to tearfully insist he would live with us forever, it was so clear that for him, we were talking about a story of sorts . . . His story, yes, but he was seeing it almost as if through a snow globe his dad and I were shaking for him. We, his mom and dad, are, in part, still in that snow globe. At least big chunks of our hearts are. Yes, I am making him breakfast. I am making him any food he desires whenever he asks. Under the guise of the fact that he doesn't eat enough fresh food at school . . . but really, it's about me, seeing him sit in the same spot at the kitchen island he always did, chatting with me about his life, while I work away to feed him. A little more time in that magical snow globe for me. It's true, you don't understand until you're there, and if you have a child, someday you will. And as a mommy, I have an entirely new meaning for happy holidays . . .

Anonymous said...

I'm sure you're one of the best dads ever. Josephine is really lucky! It's nice to hear a true love story today. Thank you!

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