Friday, December 28, 2012

Heart candy Christmas

When I was a little girl, Christmas was my favorite time of year. My mom would let me help with cookies and candies. My job was to hand mix the bourbon balls. Christmas Eve was a huge gathering of my closest family members. The adults would drink and be loud. All the kids would be jumping on beds and running circles through my aunts home. It was my idea of love at that age. Most of the time I felt like I was on the outside looking in. During Christmas it was like the glass was thinner. I still didn't feel like I completely belonged...but I was closer.

When I met my husband he told me how quiet his Christmas was. Just him and his parents, no big fuss, no loud gatherings. He didn't know what it was like to walk in to a room and kiss fifty people. I was so happy that I was able to give him that. I honestly think he was incredibly overwhelmed his first few gatherings. But he got used to it and fell in love with my family.

When I had my oldest child I could not wait until Christmas for her. I imagined how loved and excited she would feel being a part of this huge family. I thought that she would find the belonging that I always wanted for myself. Not so that I could live vicariously through her. But I assume it felt comforting knowing you have that place to belong. And I want nothing more than for my children to have that sense of security in themselves. To know that they are loved for who they are and accepted 100%.

Christmas is bittersweet now.

Gone are the times I knew for the first 30 years of my life. We are no longer a big happy family. Well, that isn't entirely correct. I am sure that the rest of my family is still big and still happy. But I am no longer a part of that. My mom might argue that it was my choice. And she'd be right. I made the difficult and painful choice to remove myself from what I now feel was a kind of false rapture.The curtain was pulled and I saw the wizard.  It was like the disconnection I had felt my whole life finally became an abyss. And I just couldn't come back from it. I couldn't fake it and pretend I wasn't hurt and disappointed. I couldn't pretend I hadn't heard the things said about me. Or that I had not seen that there were side chosen....and it wasn't my side.

I started to wonder if my children would feel the same way I had as a child. Like they never really belonged or that love was only half way for them. Sometimes I lie awake at night and ask my husband if I should fake it and try for them. And each time he tells me no. Don't change who you are....even for family. Because they of all people should be the ones to accept you for who you are. And our children will be fine and will always have enough people in their lives that love them. It's not worth the pain of lying to make others happy.

 Do I think my family loves me? YES!

I know that they all love me and don't wish harm for me. Do I think my family hates me? NO! I have never said nor will I ever say that. And anyone who attempts to quote me as saying that is listening to their own thoughts, not my words. Do I think my family is happier with my absence?...........yes. You can love someone without liking them. I think I am hard to like. I am loud, harsh and sometimes my honesty is not what people want.

This year I decided to stop moping about what was lost and start building my own tradition. We had our first  "Christmas Eve open house". There was not a large turn out. But that wasn't as important as the effort. I want my children to have good and happy memories. I want them to remember Christmas Eve as the happiest funnest night ever. I do have to work more on my organization and planning I'll admit. But I know that I can't go backwards. I can only move forward and make my own house full of noise......And I did.  We had a Merry Christmas. It was new and different and completely ours. It was my home and my family and friends. I am determined to make my children's memories about feeling loved and accepted no matter how different they choose to be.

When I was in kindergarten all the kids were asked what their favorite movie was. As you can imagine most kids said Disney movies. I said "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas". The teachers had a talk with my parents obviously. I loved it because it was a musical. I have always loved music so much. But my favorite song was always "Heart Candy Christmas" the chorus is my favorite part and it made particular sense to me this year.

I'll be fine and dandy.
Lord it's like a Heart candy Christmas.
I'm barely gettin through tomorrow.
But still I won't let sorrow bring me way down.

Merry Christmas from my Clan to yours

Being an adult is about owning your mistakes and flaws. It's also about realizing who you are and learning to be ok with the fact that not everyone is going like you or even love you. I'm barely gettin through tomorrow...but still I won't let sorrow bring me way down. I hope your holidays were happy and memories bright. Here is to new traditions in 2013!