Merry Holidays!!

 What a crazy ride this holiday season has been. As my sons get older, the day becomes less about stuff and more about us and the time we share. That being said, try wrangling teenage boys to share in the “true meaning” of the holiday and you will receive multiple eye rolls and sighs that defy human capabilities. Still, it is my job to foist love, devotion, and the full meaning of Christmas upon them while I still can.

This year is about transitions. As my eldest prepares for college next year and my youngest will attend HS, this time without the omnipresent guidance, (read less than constructive criticism) of his older brother, I’m aware of change in the air. I’ve spent this fall striving to be comfortable with my son preparing to leave our chaotic but loving home and venturing out into the big wide world. He continuously assures my husband and me that “he’s got this.” There are momentary lapses of panic followed by meditative gasping of air and the constant mantra, “this is what we’ve prepared him for..life.”

My youngest is thrilled, I’m not kidding, delighted. He has plans to move into his brother’s room, stay tuned, and to be the “only child” while his brother is away at college.   He is looking forward to playing football without the comparison to his older brother’s skills and talents which have loomed over every game and school event. He is getting ready to step into his own skin devoid of brotherly advice and reproach. Transitions.

As usual, I’m struggling to keep up with the quickening pace. I am grabbing hold of every moment, savoring each bite like a fine meal, hoping it won’t end before I’m ready. The sad fact is, it will so I’m preparing. I’ve loved being a mother and while it’s not my entire identity, it’s truly my proudest one. I’ve prayed to find the kind of love I have for my sons and I’m blessed that they have been the souls I’ve dreamed of for so long. I’ve loved, honored, adored, disciplined, and devoted a huge portion of my heart and soul to these two magnificent spirits and it has not been in vain. They are intelligent, kind, handsome, thoughtful, reflective, determined and loving young men and I’m proud of who they are becoming even if they must fly the nest to find out who they will be. I’d post pictures but I did mention they’re teenagers now and I don’t have their written consent.

I’m aware that these transitions will change me as well. I’ve got to change and grow again too. While they are embarking on new adventures, I’ve got to begin to do the same. In a way, we’re sharing the same excitement, fear, and exhilaration of new chapters and stretching our wings. We are boldly and unabashedly thrilled to see what’s next for each of us in the new year. I’m going to focus on what’s ahead and allow minimal moments of sad reflection of what has come and gone, that’s what photos and memories are for. I will embrace the adventure and love what comes next, seriously that’s the plan. Stay tuned and a Merry Holiday season to all.

9D447E81-0866-4998-A3B7-0662B71C7DFAO Christmas Tree!! Happy Holidays to Everyone!

 

Green Thumb…

I’m not a huge gardener and usually struggle to keep my house plants alive but this year, I decided to try gardening one more time. Since I planted strawberries in my garden a few years ago, the bunnies and chipmunks have beaten me to their luscious deliciousness. So I opted for less challenging plants and flowers that need little coaxing from me, than fruits and vegetables for my front garden. It went better but it’s no English estate garden.

This year I invested in deck rail planters and have grown successfully; peppermint, spearmint, jalapeños, lettuce, baby tomatoes, basil, rosemary, and oregano. I’m total amazed and pamper them relentlessly, ask my sons, who have been required to water and tend to them when I am away. The biggest surprise is that we actually eat everything we’ve planted and to have teenage boys eat anything green is nothing short of a miracle. I’m grateful everyday that we get to harvest and share our own bounty. At least they put down their phones, don’t get me started, and we chill out on the deck and talk and eat. That’s worth the price of soil.

It turns out that rebirth and regeneration of my garden has helped move me towards a place of gratitude and peace. This summer has been one of the most joyous summers of my life. To be surrounded by nature, my plants, my puppy, my friends, and my beloved family…well there’s just nothing better than that. Getting to spend quality time with the people I cherish most, that’s the best gift of all. Peace!

New Tools…

Life continues to amaze, delight, and confound me. Unraveling my spirit from the grips of grief, I have emerged altered, and changed. I am different. Grief morphed me into someone new, forged and carved me with the sharp edges of desolation and despair. It reshaped and restructured my molecules and a new me emerged, scarred but gloriously alive and entirely present.

While I am not entirely sure who the new me is, I have begun to whittle it down to who I am no longer. I’m no longer interested in sadness, unnecessary drama, betrayal, and pain…goodbye. I’m no longer interested in wasted words or deeds. I’m no longer interested in making myself uncomfortable simply for the sake of getting along. I’m no longer interested in someone else’s idea of me. I’m over conforming, and contorting, and confining myself to a version of myself that no longer exists. The old tools simply don’t fit the new doors I have to unlock or the unchartered roads I must travel. I’m going to need a whole new set of tools.

So much of my life is exactly how I imagined it, but it too is changing. As I watch my two teenage sons begin independently navigating the world with a combination of uncertainty, exhilaration, and excitement as they prepare for their own life transitions, it provides a roadmap of the tools I will need on my own journey. Their resilience and optimism continues to motivate me to take new chances as they cheer me on to new heights. When I look at the young men they are becoming, I am grateful that my husband and I have been blessed with these two extraordinary and enlightened souls. They are constantly reminding me that new challenges require new solutions, sometimes daring and bold, (whoever told them that?). While they pack up their own toolkits and set off in search of their adventures. I am doing the same. I take comfort from knowing that no matter where we all go, we are each other’s North Star. That might be the greatest tool I possess and thankfully one that will never need to be replaced in my toolbox.

I’m looking ahead at where I want to be and I am gathering the necessary tools to serve me on my quest for new vistas. It’s been a long and hard climb from the valley of mourning but I can see the dappled rays of sunlight peaking through and I’m heading that way. I am certain of one thing; the terrain may be different but so now, thankfully, so am I.