As I bring out the Christmas decorations, I’m filled with a sad wistfulness. My kids are adults, living on their own. I miss the joyful blast of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas is You”. For my daughter, Jana, this was her Christmas song that heralded the season. For Tim, it was the annual television airing of “A Charlie Brown Christmas”.
When the kids were school age, they would take turns moving a tiny stuffed mouse from pocket to pocket on a cloth countdown calender. Each day Jana and Tim would also pop out a little chocolate treat from an Advent calendar. And I’d play a “find the ornament” game whereby the kids would have to search for a random tree ornament.
It’s the simple things like that which make me miss having the kids around. I can’t resist displaying some of their school projects, which remain priceless in my heart. Jana made a small clay cat and named it after our cat at the time, Snuggles. Tim crafted a wooden Christmas tree with green paint, sparkles, and a small kindergarten picture of himself. We still laugh about a snowman picture I used to put up. Jana’s aunt thought she had made it in kindergarten, when in fact, Jana drew it when she was twelve. It’s not about artistic ability as every parent knows.
It’s nice to have the decorations up, but it’s only my husband and I now. Sure, the kids will be over to see everything, and Tim is helping put up lights as well as the Christmas tree, but it’s still not the same. I miss them. Christmas just doesn’t seem the same. While I don’t suffer from empty nest syndrome the other eleven months of the year, I certainly do around Christmas time. So many memories, and I hold them close as I go on decorating in this life after kids.