I just read an update from a good friend of mine, Bree, she wrote about traditions and being accepting of change, this really got me thinking, especially this holiday season.
Thanksgiving week has always been crazy for us. My dad comes up from Kentucky every year to visit, the one and only time we get to see him every year. My daughter celebrates another wonderful year of life and we get to celebrate the start of the Holiday season with family. Until this year we have balanced a very hectic week of visits with our life.
After reading my girlfriends update on her blog I realized that I continue to try to fit my special family into a "normal" tradition and I'm starting to ask myself "Why?". Why do we expect our children to be "normal" at the Holidays? Why do we feel the need to ensure we spend as much time this week with every family member we can vs. the rare occassions we visit throughout the remainder of the year?
I know the Holidays are about family and being thankful for what we have. So as I sit in my living room while everyone sleeps I think about "MY" family. We are not a "normal" family, we are a special family. A family of unique and extraordinary children. We need to start being thankful for the uniqueness we are. We need to stop expecting that our children will fit into a Norma Rockwell scene where everyone is smiling and enjoying the choas we all call the Holiday Season.
Starting now, I'm going to make an effort to ensure that my children have Holiday memories that are as special as they are. I'm not sure how I'm going to accomplish this and balance my desire to enjoy this time of year with my extended family and I'm sure adjusting to a new set of traditions will not come easily or without meltdowns. I do know, however, that I can't continue to try to fit myself and my family into a Norman Rockwell New England setting, it's just not fair to any of us. Even if my children were able to make it through the season without meltdowns and shear exhaustion, the anxiety and worries I carry with me can not be healthy for my children to witness.
So, here's to figuring it all out. To balancing celebration of Family both immediate and extended while maintaining some level of normal. Here's to letting go of the guilt of being the perfect mom, wife, daughter, sister, aunt etc. that I carry with me each and everyday during the Holidays. Here's to being exactly who I want to be, a Mom who can relax, sit back and be Thankful for what we do have.
We have a wonderful family that works in our crazy little world. Yes, we work. No matter how crazy and disfunctional my life my look to the outside looking in, it is my life and I love every minute of it, and for this I am truly grateful.