It’s Christmas once again. Eight years since my last with all of you. I have nowhere to send cards to three of you, so I keep them in a box, waiting for the time I might be able to share them. For now, I give you my thoughts here and send my love, as always.
You are 28. I know little about your life, except the artwork I see from time to time. S honors your wish for distance, and doesn’t share news of you – nor do I ask. I will not put him in the middle. I hope that you are finding satisfaction in your work and relationships.
You are recently 26. The last I heard, you are living in D attending school. I hope it’s going well and that you are finding your way towards a degree that will open the doors you long to pass thru.
You are 21. I know little of your world, as well. College, if I’m not mistaken, but beyond that, well… nothing. So many paths are still wide open in front of you; I hope you are able to explore them enough to find the one(s) that resonate most deeply.
To all of you:
It was a joy to make the Magic of Christmas for you during your childhoods. I send you much love and wishes for a very happy new year.
Happy birthday, T.
I doubt that you’ll read this anytime soon, but when and if you do, please know that I’m thinking of you and hoping you have the kind of birthday celebration that most fulfills you.
I texted you this morning, but considering I haven’t heard from you in about seven months, I assume you’ve changed your number or have blocked mine. I don’t know what happened to prompt you to drop out of my life again, but your reasons are your reasons. You have to live your own life, the same as the rest of us, so do what you must to live in your integrity.
Perhaps I’ll see you again one day.
Happy 21st birthday. I hope you’ve had a good time marking the occasion. You deserve to feel loved, cherished, and celebrated, especially on this day.
Your arrival into our family made it complete. I can’t imagine life without you in it. I loved your curly hair, your ticklish spots, your beautiful laugh. I loved chasing you around the kitchen island while you squealed in delight, and how you begged me to do it again. And again, and again. I loved your company in the front seat when we drove into the city, our conversations often taking philosophical turns. I loved watching you climb walls (literally!) and play soccer and ride your bike. I loved calling you from work on the nights I worked late, saying our “goodnight stuff” over the phone, blowing kisses across the distance so you could go to bed feeling connected to your mom. Certainly life wasn’t always happy or easy; no one’s life ever is completely. But you were loved, without a doubt, and I’m grateful that you are my son.
It seemed to me that you were always in a hurry to grow up; to catch up to your older siblings, and now here you are, at a rite of passage that our society agrees marks adulthood in every possible potential. As a parent, I see you differently too. The child is gone, held in memory and cherished forever. The adult stands before me in my mind, and I want to tell you that you’ll be okay. Some days it won’t feel that way, but hang in there; better days come. No one really knows what they’re doing; that’s the secret no one talks about. Just do your best as you understand it in the moment, and strive to be the best version of your self that you can be, always. That core is what will see you thru the hard days, when all is said and done.
I love you, you know. There is no time, no distance, no misunderstanding that will change that.
To my children,
On this Christmas day, I am thinking of you with love and hope. May this day find you remembering good times spent with friends, family, and holidays past, and may you create many memories to cherish in the years ahead.
I love you each very much. Be well, and be happy.
Merry Christmas. Wishing you many joys and successes in the new year.
Happy birthday! I hope your day has been wonderful, filled with things you enjoy and people who love you. Birthdays are a time to be reminded that we are cherished and celebrated; you deserve much of both.
So today you move out of the “teen” label, although I imagine you’ve felt more grown up than teen for a while now. It’s an exciting time of life, with many opportunities as well as challenges. Keep good people around you and continue to ask the best of yourself, without expecting perfection. Enjoy the process of whatever you choose to do; outcomes are wonderful but they don’t provide lasting satisfaction in and of themselves. If you can enjoy the journey while you make your way to this or that destination, you’ll discover you have gained countless memories and invaluable skills.
The card I sent to J’s house should be there by now. I trust that you know I love you – and that while I would like to hear from you someday, I will not push or prod. It will be in your time. I’ll be here, receptive to whatever you need from me.
Be well, L. Remember you are thought of often. I’m glad I got to be your mom. The memories never fail to make me smile.
I love you.
My dear R,
Happy birthday! I hope today brings you reminders of all that is good in your life, of how deeply you are loved, and of the promise of a bright future.
I celebrate you as I have the past few years: I’ve given S a card to deliver to you, and I’ve created an album on fb. It’s an important ritual for me. I enjoy celebrating each one of you on your birthdays. Whether we are speaking or not doesn’t change that. I look thru 18 years’ worth of photographs and have a hell of a time choosing the four or five that I’ll include. I smile often and tear up a little. I’m so grateful for the happy memories that arise as I look thru our family albums.
Thank you for all you shared with me. Thank you for teaching me so much, and for inspiring me simply by being who you are. I’m glad I got to be your mom.
Be well and happy, R. You deserve that.
I like Facebook’s “On this day” feature. I find little surprises and reminders when I check it. Today’s, for instance, reminded me that four years ago I was at R’s college graduation ceremony. I didn’t talk to the rest of you; that was the condition I agreed to when the invitation was extended. I remember keeping my distance after the ceremony, yet within view. When T, S, & L were done congratulating R and G, I watched you walk away in the opposite direction. I waited where I was for R to approach; it seemed like what I was supposed to do. I don’t remember that we said anything to each other right away. But I will always remember the way I felt when she hugged me. She was so happy! And I was so proud and happy for her. It was as if everything was right between us in that moment; we were celebrating a very big achievement after a long journey and a lot of work. We were two people who had shared a lot of past experiences and who, for a miraculous moment, were totally present to the abundant joy in this one. No hurts, no expectations, no awkwardness. We met each other beyond all of that somehow. It felt like home.
I do not think for one moment that all the hurt feelings and misunderstandings can be swept away and replaced by instantaneous reconciliation. But our hug reminded me that certain bonds are never broken. That knowledge can help us find the means to a new way of relating to each other. It’s not necessarily easy, but it’s also not impossible if we’re willing. We can find forward.