Too much perhaps, forgetting myself, thinking that everything was all right, that we were out of the woods. And for me it is all right, yet for Tall Girl...
"Christmas won't be the same this year" She said to me, her beautiful brown eyes filling with tears.
What could I say? No it will not be the same and thank goodness for that?! No I could not say that. Is it her teenage state of mind? I cried through vast amounts of mine! In a way I hope it is, it relieves me of the huge weight of responsibility.
I told her we will have a fine Christmas, I told her that we are forging new traditions and making happy memories that we will keep until, God willing, she grows up and no longer wants to come home for Christmas. I told her to focus on all that we have to be grateful for, there is much to consider; rather than thinking of all that has been lost.
Can she do that? Is it too big a concept for her at 14 years of age?
It's OK for me I guess. I was unhappy with the situation, my marriage, but it was their normality, their ontological security. I know that their father hates Christmas, but they don't really understand this, it has not crossed their path. When we were living as a unit I was the one making the memories, protecting them from the negative as much as I could. Perhaps it worked. They have different memories to mine.
I look at my lovely daughter, I worry about how I have changed her life, their lives, in a whirl wind. Though I am 'out of the woods' for them it is different. They still return to the family home to visit their father. For me it is over. I am glad never to cross the threshold of my old house, my old life, again. But they do it every 2 weeks. It is hard for me to understand how that effects them, no matter how much I try.
My beautiful son has written Christmas cards already and bought some very thoughtful presents, with no help from me at all. My lovely daughter has wavered in shops. No matter how I try to persuade her, she has not written one card, despite receiving several. I am hoping she has not inherited her fathers dislike of all things festive!
I will try to make our Christmas special. I am doing all the things I have always done. I hope the continuity will be a comfort and not a reminder? For me all is well. For Tall Girl? My heart hopes so.