Christmas is a time of deep joy and deep pondering and intense giddy highs.
Especially with children.
But so too it can be a time to step into the deeps, Christmas. It is also the time, for some, of some depression and hard periods if you’ve suffered loss (family, work, health).
For a relatively newly-adopted older child, it is still a time for the giddy highs….but oh, it is so much the time for grieving.
Deep, unbidden grieving.
This grief seems to come at them, and me, when you least expect it.
Which of course means that they/I should begin to expect it, right?
Except, you can’t.
Or, I can’t.
And really, I don’t think she can either.
Because I cannot begin to comprehend it, not really…as I have not personally experienced such loss or trauma, not even close.
I cannot begin to really measure the depth of it.
Or the breadth, even.
So, we both get kind of gobsmacked by it all.
And all we can do is brace for it as it swells and overtakes.
And, sigh. And try, to hold on…to what we know, to each other.
Hang on, soothe, redirect, wait, hold, endure.
Sounds easier than it is.
Because it’s exhausting.
It’s the hardest of work of course, for both of us.
And it’s padded all around by woolly tufts of good and happy true grins and recognition of comfortable new grooves being laid down.
But those chasms, they are deep and dark, with jagged tearing edges.
They make me ache.
They make her ache even more.
They are exhausting.
And while it’s oh so easy for me to throw the pity party and say, gosh Christmas this year was so hard…to grieve myself for what I wanted it to be, only….
I think in a way that Christmas, this Christmas, was a chance to actually live Christmas more, um, accurately.
Because I guess it’s closer to a truer Christmas, really, with both the joy of the birth/bringing of a new child into a family…and the cross that each child brings and that we all have to bear.
We bear it for ourselves and for each other.
So, I choose to reframe it, our Christmas, this year.
So, today, the last day of the Octave of Christmas, I can say:
Christmas at our house was crazy busy,
full of work,
full of fun,
full of highs,
full of lows,
full of grief.
Christmas at our house was exhilarating.
It was exhausting.
Christmas at our house was glorious.