Just the facts


That’s the picture I wanted to put on the Christmas card, but I didn’t — too fuzzy, can’t really see anyone, felt I couldn’t really appropriate K’s cousin, K’s cousin’s dog, K’s uncle’s lake cottage (they call them camps in upstate NY, but I’m not sure you append the lake part — lake camp? or just camp? don’t know, so I’m sticking with the Minnesota nomenclature.) Still, I like it. It was taken in May. It was cold — hailing, I think. K’s uncle kept forcing cans of light beer on the girls, which was funny somehow. Andy’s plaid looks Christmasy. I have a fondness, generally, for lake cottages. Of course, by this time of year I’m sure they’ve got snow, so it’s not exactly seasonally appropriate, either.

There were other great pictures. N’s roommate in Maine took some excellent pictures of her — but it just seemed too complicated to compile a meaningful and balanced selection of pictures, and in this age of facebook maybe pictures are not so important, so I chose a small watercolor painted by M.

Clearly this is a decision that weighs heavily on me. But it is done, now.

It struck me recently how much easier Christmas is without children at home. Not having 46 child-related Christmas events, I actually have a bit of time. I’ll have time to send the cards out. I could bake cookies! It’s actually even easier since N will not even be home for Christmas. This could make a person sad, I suppose, but I don’t feel sad at all — for one thing, I remember quite fondly the year I did not go home for Christmas. It was the first year K and I had moved to the west coast. I had no time off work. K had to go east in January because his brother got married (and I actually do regret not going to their wedding), but for Christmas we went camping along the coast. It was warm and sunny and really fun, plus such an adventure. We had no car, so we took the bus to the park and hiked in. It was really fun — and I expect N will have fun as well.

And secondly, I’m feeling happy about having such independent children. It sounds like N is doing well off on her adventure — they’ve settled down in a town to volunteer for a bit, which seems like such a good idea. And M is thinking about her senior project, which I think it difficult but also interesting, and then she’ll be done, and she’d thinking about what to do next, and that’s interesting, too.

And also, Christmas is changing a little bit at our house — well, really, it has been for a while but I’m feeling it more this year. I feel less responsible for the whole thing, and that’s okay with me, too.


2 thoughts on “Just the facts

  1. I’m glad you don’t feel sad. Whenever I feel too sad, I think of my friends whose children have not yet left home (even though one of them graduated from college last May) and then, in the words of the song from The Sound of Music, then I don’t feel so bad.

    • Ha!

      My friend from Vermont has two adult children living at home and she seems to cope pretty well. She decided they were adults, and no longer worries when they’re out, etc., and started charging rent and enforcing the chore thing — it made me think that having them move out was not the only way to shift to an adult sort of relationship.

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