Honoring our Childhood

Last week while looking for a quote for my QuotePic dedicated to Christmas, I came across this one from Carol Nelson:

Christmas is a time when you get homesick — even when you’re home.

It felt a bit sad, yet a bit true.  I decided to pass on it because I was looking for something different in terms of sentiment; however the aura of the quote stuck with me.  

My Mom texted me to see how I was doing with Christmas stuff, and I told her honestly, like so many of us can with our Mothers, that I felt exhausted.

“Christmas is exhausting for young Mothers”.  Like so many of our Mothers do, she spoke the truth.  

There’s something about hearing that truth that validates your feelings, makes you feel understood and supported.  It also makes you feel like you aren’t the only one going through it — as in — this is what we all do for our kids; WELCOME TO WHAT OUR PARENTS DID FOR US.

Christmas is a time when you get homesick — even when you’re home.

I got presents in the mail to my family in Washington; it felt good to have gotten them out in time.  I could put a line through that item on the list {of fears} that I would send a box that was delivered after Christmas.  

In-laws in town, lots of fun for all three generations; delicious food; heartfelt gifts exchanged.  

Face-time with familiar faces kept the homesickness at bay.  For the most part. 

Homesick.  It implies that where one is at, does not feel like home.  And that one longs for that place called home.  

I am home.  And to imagine that I’d want to be anywhere else other than in our house, our children’s home, creating memories and building traditions and figuring out how much Santa gives compared to Mom-and-Dad and whether or not Santa has his own wrapping paper or can just borrow a little of ours … I love it.  That the Hubbs and I talk about how to make it a meaningful holiday, how not to just blow through the presents, how we want the gifts to be given, how we want to slow the day down.  It’s exhausting and stressful and fills up my head, but I love it.

I love that Hubbs gets excited to put what he thinks Santa would get for the girls, under the tree, a twinkle of his childhood in his eyes.  I love that my children smell the Monkey Bread cooking as presents are divvied up like I did as a child.  I love that we torture them with 10 more minutes before we get up, 1 more cup of coffee before we open the next one, another person’s turn to wait patiently through, a quiz on who it’s from before they rip through it.  

Christmas is a time when you get homesick — even when you’re home.

I think it is our childhood that we are homesick for.  And I think, at least for me, the underlying fear and worry behind all the lists and ceiling-inspired-thoughts is that I fear what I create for my kids won’t match up to what was provided for me.  And it is the realization that our parents were right here, in these shoes, young parents trying to navigate through uncharted territory, this idea of the Holidays.  They had almost two decades to perfect it and refine it and stamp it as their way, as their family way.  

And now it is our turn to do what they did for us.  In our own way.  

So I hope that this post will provide a reminder to myself next year, that when this aura of homesickness comes around — even when I’m home — that it is just the child in me trying to help the adult version create some magic for my children in a way that honors my own childhood.  Not to be saddened or confused by or worried about it.  But to just let it be, and to carry it with me through the Holidays.  

{the photo was taken at my sister-in-law’s house: I always feel special sitting at her table}


 © Houseman 2013