Used to be in mid-summer, usually sometime in July, a wave of anticipation would sweep over me and I would suddenly perk up at the idea that it would eventually be time again for Christmas – tree, music, winter, candles, warm quilts, cozy fire, etc. But things change. The past few years, I have been realizing that, except for a few select moments, I don’t even LIKE Christmas anymore, let alone get excited about it. The busy-ness of everyday life, the EXTRA busy-ness that special events add, the stress of spending money on gifts for…wait – why are we doing this?…. how everything seems to ratchet up a notch….ayayayaye…#gladwhenitisover.
This year may be different. I think I may be more excited. This year, December will mean Christmas break, not high-school style, but college-style, and our son will be home again for a while. Not that he’ll be around much, probably, but still. Except for sleeping, he really hasn’t been around all that much for a couple of years. But home has still been home. And our home will still be his home, for a while, I think. Emotionally, at least.
But the changes keep rolling…morphing, evolving, warping – pick an image that works. It’s an eternally-old paradox that the only thing constant is change. Sunday is Move-In Day, and we’ll be dropping the beamish boy off at college. It’s all as it should be. This is what you raise your kids to be able to do. And this is all just a new starting point. There’s much more to come. Do not underrate the empty nest. I know this. Intellectually, at least.
Today I am grateful for the amazing, fall-like weather, not only for the cooler temperatures, but because change is literally in the air on so many levels, and at least for right now, in this moment, there is a respite from the heavy, parboiling steam-heat that is August in this part of the country. And because today IS cool and crisp and beautiful, it seems to be a harbinger of hope, of good things to come. It’s a touch of grace. I don’t know this intellectually, but I feel it emotionally, and I’ll sure take it.