As we near Thanksgiving, I can’t help but think of the quiet and stillness in the house tonight. This is something I am thankful for. Late night and early morning stillness has a special place in my heart… not because I need the peace and quiet from my children (well, sometimes I do); but because it allows me time with my thoughts. It allows me time to reflect on who I am as a mom, a wife, a friend and as a person.
Have I been the person, lately, that I strive to be?
The ironic thing is that I actually am not that big of a fan of holidays. Don’t get me wrong, I love Thanksgiving. I love Christmas. But what I love is not the iconic symbols we all associate. I don’t even really like the cutesy crafts that you may even see me post over the next month for Christmas. However, I love seeing my children smile. I love making others happy… and to me, that is what happens during the holidays.
Thanksgiving marks the beginning of all things “Holiday”. Children are allowed to make silly, ridiculous crafts made of handprints, bright red pom-poms, and cut up paper. They are encouraged to make and eat as many treats containing the colors red, white and green. Most of all they are encouraged to be kids and indulge in all things we (adults) cherished as children.
We(adults) encourage children to make memories. Memories that they will carry through their lives; and they will, in turn, instill in their children.
What happens to those “traditions” when life gets in the way? Should we become angry? Should we stick to our memories of growing up and how we think life should be or do we open our hearts to new memories and traditions?
I ask this because, tonight, as I sit in the silence I am not comforted like most nights. Instead, I am reminded that my children are products of a divorced family. Instead of building on traditions year after year, they are forced to bounce between homes on odd and even years and forced to alternate their traditions based on their parents “agreements”.
I miss my children.
I wish the silence in my house was due to their sleeping anticipation in the upstairs beds… but its not. If I had the whim to walk in their room and kiss them an extra kiss goodnight, I couldn’t.
I’ve come to the realization (long ago) that I cannot focus on the time I do not have with my children. Instead I have to focus on the time I get with them. I have to make the most of the time I have, make memories, and start traditions even if they will only be used every other year.
Thanksgiving is a time we are all supposed to be Thankful for what we have. If you read Facebook, people have devoted each and every day to being thankful for something this month. On Pinterest, there are boards dedicated to ways to show your thankfulness, and news stories fill the headlines with “good deeds” and stories of “thankfulness”. Luckily, these good hearted feelings continue into December for Christmas (you know, “the holidays”).
What happens in January, or better yet June?
What are people thankful for then? How do they express it publicly? What traditions are in place to continue to remind ourselves we should be thankful all the time?
So this Thanksgiving and Holiday season, I am thankful for the things I am missing. I am thankful I am missing my children tonight. First, it makes me realize how special they are to me and how much their presence means to me; but secondly, it makes me realize how blessed they are to have so many people that love them.
Right now my children are in another house, sleeping in another bed; and someone else is anticipating their arousal in the morning to instill their traditions and create their memories. My children deserve this. They deserve to be loved in more than one place. They deserve to have double the amount of love. And more than anything…
They deserve for me to be thankful every day for the love they get when I am missing them.
How do you continue the art of being thankful all year? What are you thankful for?