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December 8, 2011

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Ah, the holidays! Just when I thought things were getting easier – no more racing to the store on Black Friday to get a Furby toy or a Nintendo Game Boy. Instead, as a mother of a teenager and college student, I now have to figure out how to get quality time with my young adults over the holidays – sharing them with friends, girlfriends and their myriad of social activities.  When they were young, I never had to worry about whether I would eat Thanksgiving turkey with my children, but instead stewed over whether they would have good table manners around my relatives and whether I could keep them calm as the Christmas decorations came out of the attic that weekend.

The week before Thanksgiving my college-aged son called to inform me the that he may not have time for all of the family gatherings planned for the upcoming holiday weekend. I couldn’t believe my ears. I knew he was overwhelmed with numerous college papers and exams (and probably sleep deprived), but I didn’t think we had come to that time of life where we may not eat Thanksgiving dinner together.  Was this going to be the beginning of new traditions for our family?  And, who was going to tell my mother that my son may not be at Thanksgiving dinner? I promptly told him, it would not be me.

As I contemplated his words, I took the advice of a wise friend, took a deep breath and tried not to react.  I talked to my son about how much it would mean to all the relatives to have him at the various family dinners. I explained how much they all looked forward to seeing him again since he had been away to college.  None of my responses swayed his thoughts. Finally, I decided to get “real” with him about the reason I wanted him there and ended the phone conversation by saying, “Really what is most important is for me to spend time with you this weekend.”  He answered on the other end, “Why didn’t you just say so, Mom?”

I continue to learn from my children.  Although some days seem like they are slipping away from me (and I know they are), I learned from my son this holiday that they still want to know we love them and want to spend time with them. The result this Thanksgiving was that my son did attend all of the Thanksgiving dinners (even making a dish of his own this year to contribute).  We all even enjoyed going to the movies together one night – just the four of us.  I know these days won’t last forever, so in the meantime, I am going to savor every minute I get with my children this holiday season – even the often challenging dinner-time conversations – as my little ones are becoming adults themselves.

by

December 8, 2011

Comments (7)

Comment Feed

I;ve been there....done that!!!!

We have enjoyed your articles dealing with the kids exiting from home.......pushing them out of the nest, claiming your space once again, trying to keep up with modern times so they won't think you are getting old, and finally, sharing holiday time with others. The stories sound very familiar and bring back
memories.....now all we have to do is wait for the great grandchildren to see how
we'll respond.....but children, grandchildren just seem to escape our reach and that is the way it should be. You will find other life time topices to write about believe me.!~

Your Dad more than 1 years ago

Priceless

What our children want and want to hear is that they are important to us on a deeper level than providing for their needs. Another great blog Amy.

Mary De Shields more than 2 years ago

Getting Real with the Reason for the Season

Amy,
Your words and feelings are shared by mothers everywhere! We spend our entire lives nurturing, loving, caring and working for our children. Suddenly, they are grown and moving into the direction of their destiny. Meanwhile, we continue to nurture, love, care and work for them, from afar. What we forget to do, is prepare for ourselves the "me" time we so desparately wanted when they were small. "Me" time is available, but we really want them to stay connected to our "me" time. It's so funny to look back and see myself through what you have illustrated. All of these transitions are such a big part of our journey, and I so understand what you are going through. Meanwhile, please try to enjoy that special time for yourself to gain strength, perspective and recharge yourself for the next set of transitions! Haha....
Pam

Pam Kunz more than 2 years ago

Teachable moment

I could really relate to this story. I have to admit I got a little teary eyed thinking of how many times we don't ask for what we need and once we do....we usually get the answer for which we were hoping. Thanks for sharing!

Wendy Towers more than 2 years ago

Wonderful

Thank you for sharing that Amy. It brought a tear to my eye!

Pam Hutchinson more than 2 years ago

Getting Real with the Reason for the Season

I enjoyed Amy's blog as I am also at the same crossroad as she. Our adult children and pre-adult children have lives of their own outside of their immediate family. As Amy suggests, be upfront with your children and tell them exactly what you hope for during the holiday season. They just might realize that the whole affair is really about the love that you have for them.

Jean Callis more than 2 years ago

So Real

Thank you for sharing and I will store in my teen file cabinet in my brain. Please send more, God knows I need it being a mother of 4 teens.

Mary Kramer more than 2 years ago

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