Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Holding On Tightly

The subject of today's post has been on my mind now for a long time, years in fact. It's one that many of you have already dealt with and if you haven't, then it's on the horizon. It's about our children growing up and leaving home.

I suppose I'm beginning to understand why some folks (I never use that word because I dislike it. A lot.) don't thrill over the idea of Christmas the way I always do. I never understood it before, but it's becoming less of mystery as my babies grow up. This will be our third Christmas without our son. It sucks moose balls. There's just no other way to say it.

Christmas is an entirely different animal when one of your children can't be home to share it.

I refuse to allow this post to become a reflection of pre-menopausal emotions. Partly because I am, in fact, not suffering from that particular affliction. My body and I agreed years ago that I am not doing menopause. I'm just not. It's not mandatory and I refuse to participate in that crap. I don't believe in it, anyway. Back to the point, I don't want this post to be a puddle of shit during what is The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, so I won't drag out all my cry-baby thoughts about my children growing up and moving on.

However, I will take this opportunity to tell those of you who are still getting up in the middle of the night with crying babies or have toddlers in your bed, stealing the covers and kicking you in the bladder all night, that it goes fast. Too fast. Before you know it, they can drive and have the car on Friday night while you sit at home trying to remember where you put your social life. Then you remember that for the past sixteen years, your children were your social life. You have to adapt and change.

Its a time of change for all of us. Zak is a man. Grown and gone. Three years in the Navy and making his way in the world. Lauren is a sophomore. She drives herself where she needs to go and is already looking at colleges. I need old lady glasses to read my goddamn iphone and anything else that's not written in letters the size of walnuts. I've also discovered I snore, another sign of Father Time's shitty sense of humor. I have wrinkles that I can't see unless I take out my contacts, so I just don't bother looking in the mirror unless I'm wearing them. (If I can't see them, then they aren't there!) Then there's Doug, but he's been old since I was in high school. He can't hear shit but refuses to do anything about it. Instead of getting a hearing aid, we play the "Huh?" game after EVERY sentence that comes out of my mouth. Sometimes I just move my lips to make him think I'm talking and then refuse to repeat myself. I need entertainment, too.

In spite of these changes, I will never be old. I refuse to do that, just like menopause. I plan to live to be 120 years old. My kids know this plan very well. I will be 120, pushing Zak in his wheelchair - he will be 96. Lauren will be beside us with her walker. She will be 90. Doug probably won't be around, but we'll still make fun of him. While I'm happy to push his wheelchair, Zak will have to change his own diaper. Those days, like so many others, are over.

But we have the memories. Hold on tightly to your babies and relish this Christmas, whatever it brings.