My fellow emptynesters, I hope you all had a great Christmas with all your families and friends. The festive season was absolutely crazy as usual! The crowded streets and shops in London was just overwhelming.
However, wasn’t it wonderful to have the children at home again? It was such a joy to listen to all their stories about university and their new lives which they are still trying to carve out. Trying to advise but not to dictate was a little challenging…since I promised myself that I was going to let go…and allow them to fly solo.
To be perfectly honest,I am just happy that they still want my opinion and they still respect my advise… Every time “the I told you so” entered my consciousness.. I counteract this with positive and constructive criticism. It is really important to build up their confidence and allow them to make mistakes… Hopefully, only little ones! I have to say, this is all new for me because in reality, I like to take charge.
The girls and I are on a journey together.. we are all learning to negotiate the twists and turns of this new pathway. Since they are going to miss their skiing holiday with the family in February, my husband and I are busy trying to book another skiing holiday to enable us to spend time with them. It is about having fun and creating those unforgettable moments with them. I am sure many of you are aware how quickly the time goes.. We are very happy that the girls still want to go on holiday with us and we want to create that loving family environment that will always be their nest!!, the place where they know they will be safe,they are going to be heard, they are not going to be judged too harshly,and where they can just be themselves.
For you guys who travelled to your children’s home for Christmas… I am sure that it was really marvellous to see them, to have that one and one time, to just have a hug..to see the laughter, the joy and happiness and the outpouring of love . For me, Christmas is truly a magical time of the year.
It is really sad when family members spoil it with fights and arguments over the family silver and who does what or who goes where.. This is usually the one time of the year when we all try desperately to preserve that utopian environment. It is never easy.. Is it? We can only do our best..
Christmas day was very very busy.. My two step -sons and their families arrived about noon and the grandchildren were really excited. Christmas carols were playing, the smell of the turkey permeated the air and the aroma of the cinnamon and spicy christmas candles lingered in the corridor leading to the dining room. Christmas was definitely in the air..
Since the table was prepared the day before, I really felt that I had the luxury of time to talk to everyone and so I tried to catch up on the gossip over cocktails and canapes. This was such a rare occurrence..
The Christmas tree had musical lights that twinkled to the different songs and the beautiful red and gold decorations just completed the ambience. The grandchildren thought that it was really amazing because Santa was climbing down the christmas tree.
It was really wonderful to have all the family together to celebrate and enjoy the day. The house was alive again..it was filled with laughter and noise and screams from the grandchildren as they chased each other around the house.
The twins had not seen their nieces and nephew for a few months because they were away at university. So they really made a fuss of the girls and their nephew too. They were particularly excited to meet their three month old niece who they were meeting for the first time.
We had lunch about 2.00pm and after lunch, we all read our christmas crackers jokes for a little light relief! This was followed by the opening of the presents. Of course, this was the most exciting part of the day for the children and the grandchildren. It was just priceless to see the expressions and their happy faces when they opened the presents! The big thank you mum and dad, and the big hugs and sloppy kisses compensated for all the mess and misdemeanours!! By the time Christmas day came to a close, we were all exhausted ..Nevertheless, we were all still running on adrenaline.
It made me realised that our children truly enriched our lives and we should be thankful..
Before the children,
my life was happy and carefree,
my house was always clean,
my purse was always full,
but my heart was empty!
Now we have the worry,
we have the heartache
but most of all,
we have unconditional love
of our children and the
adoration of the grandchildren.
Being a parent is truly one of the greatest gifts!
It is truly a privilege!
Boxing day was really quiet because we were all exhausted from partying christmas eve and entertaining the family on christmas day. Since we also had to prepare for our customary Austrian vacation on the 27th Dec, we had to pack. I was really sad because our three daughters were not accompanying us. Danielle was going to Chicago on the 30th Dec and the twins had decided to stay home and study because they had exams starting the first day back on the 11th Jan. Since this was a regular family holiday and we also had my step -sons and families, cancelling was not an option.
Thus, my heart was left at home because I really had to go to support my husband. In fact,I do not think the girls were too worried at all. Danielle had her old flatmate from New York visiting with his partner and the girls also wanted to catch up with all their friends before they went back to university.. I was probably the only one suffering.. Needless to say, the new years eve celebration in Austria was bitter-sweet because half of my family was missing and I was busy telephoning Danielle in Chicago and the girls in London to wish them “happy new year”
Being a parent is never easy…