Christmas kind of passed me by this year.
There are several reasons behind that feeling. The biggest of course is that my grandmother died on December 23rd. She's been in hospice a while so it wasn't a shock. She was 89 and dying of end stage liver disease.
There are smaller things too. Money is tight. I am bracing for the fact that I'm probably looking for work starting in January and it's hard on my heart because I've gotten comfortable where I am at the little private school that can't pay me. It's understood that I'm looking and why I'm looking. I will leave on good terms. But I don't want to.
And there's this sense that my life is passing me by. Maybe it's a midlife problem. My kids are getting older and I feel like I'm failing them.
My aunt had to put her husband into hospice.
One of my cousins was nearly killed in a hit and run accident.
It's a lot.
But there were some very good moments from this Christmas:
I'm moving the kids' rooms. Brooklyn wanted to move to the guest room on the second floor, which was newly redone for our exchange student so it was clean and freshly painted. London is taking her old room, and we are rearranging the rest of the attic so that Niles has the same size space as London, and there will be a little sitting area with at TV and the game systems in between them. I'll post pictures when they're all done. But things are coming along. Both girls' rooms feel nicely grown up. They will suit them until they move out. Niles' room is still in process, and that is tomorrow's full day job.
I made that quilt.
I made some very pretty little stained glass.
I sat with a friend for hours talking and laughing.
I'm going to coffee with another friend in the morning.
My sister Bevin gave me a vintage mink stole. She told this story: "I was at this antique mall and there was this booth and I saw the stole in the back on a hanger, but when I see something like that, that I know I want, I can't just walk right up to it. I kind of have to approach it from the side, not looking directly at it. Like a cat, kind of sidling up to it, pretending to be interested in other things. But once I touched it, the man in charge of that booth said, 'I see you're interested in the mink, I can make you a deal,' and I knew I was taking it home."
My partner teacher gave me a coffee cup (we are coffee buddies) that reads, "I'd love to stay and chat...but I'm lying."
A friend took some words from this blog and turned them into a beautiful gift. I cherish it and her.
I got Brooklyn the drivers rule book and she's been highlighting away at it.She also went to a party with school friends. My little introvert is growing up.
London is having a friend over tomorrow night. We've decided not to move schools after all. I think we can make things work. Bloom where you're planted.
Niles went over to a (girl)friend's house all afternoon today. Her grandmother told me, "Your son is a polite young man." And her husband said, "He can come over anytime."
It's a small little Christmas here. And I've been crying for days and not sleeping well and things aren't great.
But in the end, I'm walking out of 2016 with enough. Happy kids, a few wonderful friends, a (mostly) clean house, some hopeful plans.
I'm holding tight to those. They're enough. They're enough. They're enough.