I find our family in kind of a lull this year. With the youngest being sixteen and the oldest in his mid-30s we’ve long since been parents scrambling to find the perfect (popular) toy or electronic gadget for each kid, in fact, with three of five of them grown and flown, unfortunately we won’t even all be together this holiday season.
Alas, I recognize sitting in the muck of “remember when our kids were little and we couldn’t find time to shop yet we were so excited to wrap everything we could afford on their list knowing we’d hear squeals of joy on Christmas morning” isn’t productive.
This holiday season it’s about finding the joy in the journey.
You see, we’re officially knee deep in what I call the “in-between” stage. We’re past living with the youngsters who enjoyed all of the sights, tastes, and gifts that came from this time of year and not yet at the point of having grandkids to spoil. Ah, grandparenthood, someday we’ll enjoy the holiday fun while knowing we aren’t obligated to stay up to play Santa until after the last kid is asleep at midnight and then turn around and look fresh at 5 a.m. for the 5-year-old who just can’t sleep a minute longer.
Truth be told, it’s kind of boring to be in-between.
Maybe you’re in the same time period in your life too? If that’s the case, let me share a few things I’ve decided to focus on and be grateful for in the midst of the lull.
First, if one of our kids wakes up at 2 a.m. from a nightmare or with a sore throat I don’t have to take care of them because, while I love them dearly, we’ve raised them to be able to take care of themselves. This was ultimately the most important job I took on as a mom. I’m bored basically because I’ve done my job. Besides, most of them don’t live at home and they know better than to call me in the middle of the night unless it’s Earth shattering, lol.
Second, on Christmas Eve I can go to bed after putting the gifts under the tree at 10 p.m. no matter who might still be up and in the kitchen fixing a snack. After almost two decades of interrupted nights, can you tell I relish every stinking beautiful time I get to go to bed when I want to and sleep soundly through the night?
Third, I have more time to myself during the holiday season because my kids are all capable (and willing) to help with the preparations! Someday, when it’s time for grandkids to enter the picture, my kids will have to concentrate their energy on their own families and I imagine I’ll be back to more prep time. Not to mention you can literally get everything on Amazon so there is no running around trying to find the perfect gift. I can shop for all five of them while in my pajamas! Not to mention they now completely understand why we have a Christmas budget to work within.
This is the moment when we get to really develop the relationships with our young adult children. We have time and bandwidth to learn and understand how their unique life paths and experiences are influencing their beliefs. And while some of these beliefs may be different from my own, I can appreciate that overall, the values we spent so much time instilling while they were young are being played out in a myriad of ways.
Sending much joy and good health to you and your family this holiday season. May 2022 bring you blessings beyond your wildest imagination!