This morning, I woke up in an empty house. The eerie silence is unexpectedly lonely.
My family celebrates Christmas on Christmas Eve, so our holiday jubilation was over by nightfall, last night. Not wanting to travel home, today, when all the businesses will be closed, I chose to drive back last night, after sending the baby off to his dad's & sending the others to bed at the gradnparents'.
So, in between the research & writing that I've been working on, all morning, I hear the emptiness of my home, and am reminded of years past. In 2010, I was a 1L in law school, and having to live away from my children. Having separated from my husband, and unable to afford to support my children on my own, my children were living with my parents, while I was staying in my second mother's spare room.
I remember crying for days, in my room, because I couldn't give my children any gifts. I never said anything to anyone, but she knew. She asked me to bring them over, to celebrate with her, because she knew it would help me feel less depressed.
I'll never forget how happy my kids were as they opened the gifts that she bought them. Honestly, I don't think they even noticed that none of their gifts actually came from me. They just remember spending an enjoyable Christmas with me, and we recount those memories on occasion.
This year, I was feeling some way about only being able to buy each of my kids a new pair of shoes. But, I kept reminding myself, their actual needs matter more than holiday gifts and I've been meeting those, so I shouldn't feel bad...but I have been. Yesterday, though, my family gave them so much & they were surrounded by so much love, they don't notice that Mom didn't lavish them in superfluous gifts. And, really, that's all that matters.
I've been blessed to have wonderful family, both by birth & in the family that I have found along the way. I am grateful for each of them & what they have contributed to my life, and I only hope that I can be as much of a positive force in the lives of others.