Saturday, December 28, 2019

Holiday Letter

Dear Daughter,

End of the year,
Holiday parties, Christmas songs,
The expectation that you will feel cheerful,
Maybe even bake cookies,
And exchange gifts with family and friends.

It’s a pretty picture
I wish I could paint it for you.
But I’m not an artist.
And we rarely are able to be together in December.

Online shopping, 
Holiday markets and the post office,
Impersonal gift cards and opening gifts alone,
Texting phrases and emojis,
That is our holiday reality.

This was supposed to be
a holiday gift for you.
A reminder of a noisy kitchen,
the strike of a match to light the first candle,
wrapping paper being torn.
Grandma’s house, 
Being allowed in the forbidden rooms,
Friends, cousins, aunts, and uncle visiting,
Too much boring adult talk,
Going for a family walk to see holiday lights.

It’s getting close to the end
of another year.
A natural time to think back
about the dreams we had in January,
all the things we thought we would do,
the places we would go.
A time to think about
the things that went wrong,
the things that went right,
Pleasant surprises and
Hurtful disappointments.

It’s the time of year
when people are cheerful.
And still we get caught up in thoughts
of what could have been,
people we miss because they are no longer in our lives

It’s getting close to the beginning
of a new year,
Time for us to make our resolutions,
and to wonder if we will keep them.
Time to party with friends, 
Time to think about who we are
and what we are doing with our lives.
Time to be happy, sad, hopeful, bitter,
Time to feel love and loss.
Because that’s what we do.
It’s part of the process
of getting to know and love yourself.

The end of the year
means new beginnings.
A cliche.
The reality is, 
every day is a time for old and new.
So go with the cheer. 
Have fun, celebrate,
Live as big as you want to.
And try to think and grow
at your own pace,
not based on a date on the calendar.
Your trips around the sun are yours.
Celebrate them however you want to.
And burst out of your orbit now and then.
Explore the universe.
And don’t worry about where it will lead you,
or getting lost,
Gravity will bring you back,
into the orbit that is right for you,
If you let it.

Love, Mom