And I’ve told you that Scarlet’s first year of life felt like eons. Des’ first year was much quicker, and in many ways, I wanted that to happen. I was much more anxious and first time mom-like with him because his birth experience, and subsequent newborn experience, were a bit of a disaster for me. It’s like I was robbed of something crucial – sanity, maybe, and time. So, I wanted that time to fly, until he was no longer an angry old man newborn with wrinkles, male pattern baldness, and a fragility – that perhaps wasn’t real – but was all too real for me. So, I blinked.
We used to take long family vacations when I was a kid and then pre-teen. Two weeks away. I’d get so disoriented that it would feel like I had been out there in those beach towns for weeks. MONTHS. Who was I anymore, anyway? It’s because these are the times that you’re changing. I’m changing. Time doesn’t really matter, does it? It’s growing and stretching and aching and loving. Or shrinking and slumping and numbing and unloving. Everything and nothing at once.
When do they feel like they really have, or will begin? Why am I missing what’s happening? How do I live in the present? Like when you watch a movie that seems over before it really started. 1-2 hours is not always enough time for you to wrap your head around it. Sometimes life is like that too. Sometimes one or two months or years isn’t enough time to wrap your head around it.
These cold nights against the fire, I realize it. It’s here. The school year is underway and the holiday season is passing me by. All these bits of magic I only ever dared to dream about, and demons and terrors too. The good, the bad, the empty spaces. This fall was one of the heavier falls I’ve had. You can’t imagine the hope and hopelessness, joy and despair. All at once.
I think about Des’ face pressed against the glass of his BIG life dream. My life dreams. The blurry eyes of awe, and our mother/son trip of a lifetime. And looking at love from both sides now.
And then there was letting go of Scarlet (and Cassidy) for ten days while she went somewhere more exotic than I’ve ever been in my thirtysomething years. Their own unique trip of a lifetime.
When I think of fall, I think of hotel room floor picnics and $65 room service bills, but hey, sometimes that’s how you do you. I’ll think of different hotel room hijinks – the kind you take with you. There’s an innocence I miss from then – before the heavy, suffocating weight of winter blew away the glow with the leaves. It doesn’t mean the lightness and hope won’t come back.
I had my own developmental and emotional growth spurt and learned much about how I want to treat people and be treated, love and be loved, see and be seen, hear and be heard. It’s kind of amazing, and kind of scattered. Dismissed and dismissive, held tightly and holding steady.
I think about his words, harsh words, and the haunting power of their weight. Sometimes I’ve thought and hoped that maybe I can move past them to a point in which they’re not crushing despair. And other times they threaten to hang over my head for life. Words he can’t and maybe wouldn’t take back. I’m haunted by the ghosts of words. I long for other words to take away the chill – while they come at their natural paces. Words of being seen and heard, loved and wanted.
I think about new friendships this fall. And the weight of tears I’ve seen and shed and felt over so many breakfast and lunch and pie and coffee date tables in so little time. The weights of friendship and love carry with them surprises and aching and validation. I’ll carry them with me.
I walked into this holiday season the way I often do – blinking in and out of the fogs, the rains, the demons, and the aches and pains. Trying to find a feeling and a spirit before it’s too late.
I walked into this holiday season with clearer eyes and a clearer vision – I didn’t realize it at first. Wiping away the cobwebs of summers’ and years’ past, and out from the winds and fogs and rains of fall. I’m trying to see what you’re showing me, and hear what you’re telling me – in your own strange ways. Love languages misunderstood and understated; understood and overstated.
I walked into this holiday season, ready to let go, in all the good and bad ways. And I mean letting go of the controls and restraints, and throwing caution to the bitter but freeing wind. I also mean letting go where I was holding too tightly before. I’ll loosen my grip – from my heart to my hands – neatly and diligently, one piece of reins after another. Untangling and unraveling.
I didn’t catch the holiday spirit, at first. It was too early and then it was nearly too late. You never know when it’s going to hit you – you just hope it does. It doesn’t have to be the bolt of lightning of the perfect smell or the snowflake on your tongue or the right nostalgic holiday song. Maybe it’s a small candle of light to keep in your heart – to remind you and inspire you – and keep you warm when the lights go out again. When the winds roar, the scarf is too tight, and the ice clutches at your heart. Keep your small candle of love and light and kindness. It will be enough.
I’m linking up with Finish The Sentence Friday (FTSF) for another fun and challenging prompt. This week’s topic is “The Holidays..” And there’s time to write yours. Link up your post HERE.