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Vignette 44/52. Christmas.

It’s weird to say that this whole year felt like Christmas.

But as a mama, it was an unexpected gift. For years I had begun to prepare myself emotionally for the time when my children would leave and maybe not even be together for the holidays. When AJ decided not to come to Costa Rica for Christmas in 2018, it felt like our time together would be fewer and far between.

Then everything changed this year. We received a bonus gift of the seven of us spending more time together than we had in four years.

Every morning, during our walk, Chris and I would list all the things we were grateful for and the number one thing would be that we were together during this time. We appreciated this unexpected gift at a time when it was difficult to be optimistic.

This year we did all the things we normally did at Christmas time. We watched movies, we baked cookies, we crafted, and we had meals together. There were also mild tantrums over chores and clothes but even those felt precious and nostalgic.

What I observed most about myself was that I never became attached to the situation or longed for the past when they were little. I knew this was nothing short of a miracle. I knew this was a limited time offer. I knew that Chris and I had won a small jackpot to spend frivolously. I knew, eventually, like the ebb and flow of the ocean, life would pull them back out and send them on their own journeys once again.

Just like Christmas, I treated it like a special opportunity to reflect and to be present. I took my time seeing them in the moment of their lives today and not who they were or who they ought to be. I sat with them watching their favourite shows instead of reading a book on the side. I lectured less and listened more. I focused on myself so they could focus on themselves.

Today we are all together again. As things become uncertain, I no longer take anything for granted. I know I am not exempt from the hands of fate that could make today the last time. As I see them all pile on the bed together to watch a movie and eat gummy bears, it is like they are little again.

And as much as I want to hold on to this moment, I let it go knowing Life keeps moving and there will be other Christmas moments if I choose to see them.

Wishing everyone a happy holidays…from all of us.

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