Sunday, December 20, 2009

It's About That Time

I don't mind being alone.  I never have.  Being alone is peaceful and relaxing.  No pressure, no noise, nothing to impede the process of just existing.  Every now and then, I think it is a requirement for sanity.  I'm not one to turn down alone time, especially since it happens so rarely.  Now, however, I find myself in the unwelcome state of loneliness.  I am not alone, not by far.  Responsibility and duties and chores and life itself still rolls along.  Nothing has changed.  Yet, both the air and my heart seem heavy. 

It is so much more than Hubby being out of town for a week, and then not home much when he is in town.  It's his job.  I am well aware of its requirements.  Maybe, it's the fact that I have done Christmas all by myself this year.  Alone, just me, no help, no real input, four kids, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, oh and the pets.  But that alone doesn't really bother me either.  Don't misunderstand me, I'm not depressed or longing for more of anything in particular.  I'm just lonely.  Everyone is busy this time of year.  I haven't had a second to just be.  Who knows when the last time I hung out was.  Life has changed more than I thought with the baby.  It is just different that I expected, even though I really didn't think I had any expectations.   

What to do, what to do?  This isn't really something that some alone time with Hubby would fix.  It isn't that kind of loneliness.  I'm not reclusive by nature.  I enjoy the company of others.  Yet, outside of parent/teacher conferences, I haven't really had any adult contact for what seems like weeks.  It's not really true, but that is definitely how if feels.  Boy, I love this time of year, truly I do.  However, half a day on Christmas Eve and all of Christmas Day, just to leave the following day, doesn't make me happy.  I won't see my family this year.  My good friend and the only neighbor I really talk to is moving next week.  My best friend is going on an extended vacation the day after Christmas. I am spending what is usually the best part of the year alone. 

Okay, not ALONE, with my kids.  I am grateful to spend all this time with them, but Lord they are a rambunctious bunch.  It is easier and much less stressful when there is someone here, even for a couple of hours, to help.  I also get a bit sad for my Hubby when he is gone so much.  He misses all the smiles and belly laughs.  He's gone for so much of the good stuff that it breaks my heart a little. 

On a much brighter note, it finally feels like Christmas.  I had all my grown up decorations up for a little while now, but it didn't feel like Christmas.  Today, I came across all my childrens' decorations.  Now the walls are adorned with construction paper stockings and santa hats, paper plate and pasta wreaths, glittered snowflakes, and my favorite our "family tree".  When my oldest was 6, and my second was 7 months, Hubby was out of town, as usual, and we passed the time making some decorations.  So we cut out and glittered some snowflakes.  Then he gathered the angular tiny scraps and asked me if we could make something with them.  I asked him what he would like to make, but he couldn't really think of anything.  So I asked him what his favorite part of the season was.  He told me it was the Christmas tree, because it always makes him smile.  So he drew pencil outline of a Christmas tree on a piece of white construction paper and I filled it in lightly with glue.  He has such a good time dropping all of the green and red scraps of paper on the tree.  When it was dry, we took more glue and added dots for ornaments and outlined the tree and added glitter in all different colors.  His eyes grew bright and he showered me with love and said it was beautiful.  He couldn't wait to show his Daddy our family tree.  He called it that because we made it as a family, even though his brother sat in the high chair and ate cheerios the whole time.  It has been six Christmases that that tree has adorned our house.  It is always placed well out of reach of the little ones and in a room far from the real Christmas tree.  It makes me smile whenever I see it.  This year, it is on the end of a row of high cabinets that separate our kitchen and dining room.  It is the very first thing I see when I come inside.  It always makes me truly happy, and fills my heart with love.

It's funny how that story seems to have pushed that lonely feeling right out of my heart.  There is no melancholy residue, just warmth and an overwhelming desire to squeeze my little munchkins, but they're sleeping so I'll have to wait until morning.

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