And one of the ways that is most obvious is around the Holidays, when I don't get to keep him to myself, here at home. I don't even just have to share him with his biological father, but have also had to learn to (gracefully) share him with his girlfriend and her family. Given that I refuse to have him think of me the way his father thinks of my former mother-in-law, I would bite my tongue off before I would pressure him to be with me and stay here on the Holidays. Instead, I bury that hurt and try to put on a happy face, and be the kind of parent that he WANTS to be with. And of course, at the end of the day, I am, Master and I are, O/our home is, the place where O/our son always returns to. W/we are his home, deep in his heart.
So at Thanksgiving, he was with his girlfriend, and Master's family was all out of State where W/we were unable to join them (as is mine). He and I spent O/our Thanksgiving alone, not unhappy but perhaps feeling the poignancy of a non-traditional day. It was wonderful in it's own right, feeling happy to be together, relaxing, and spending time together doing exactly what W/we wanted, when and how W/we chose. It was especially good since I've been battling back from a severe Vitamin D deficiency (which I didn't even know I had, but which now explains an awful lot of the ennui I've been suffering.) Anyway, Thanksgiving was quiet, good, if different.
And son's girlfriend was cheerfully chattering on to me one day about her plans for them to spend Christmas with her family - completely oblivious to my feelings and the possible need/desire I might have to see my only child. She was, I think, also a bit oblivious to my son's need and desire to be with me for at least part of Christmas as well. All the days and weeks leading up to the Day I was mentally lecturing myself that I had to let go gracefully, that he was grown, and needed to live his own life, and that as the future unfolded I would be spending many holidays without his presence, which was fine. I did a pretty good job convincing myself, and accepting the portion of his time I was to be allotted in the days before and after those immediately surrounding the Holiday.
And things changed. I wonder if I had ranted and raved and moaned about how unfair and awful the plans were if I would have been stuck with them, or if my acceptance and peace perhaps allowed things to change. Either way, change they did. And they have both been with U/us for MOST of the time. The week before they were here, as his University Holiday had begun already. They were helping around the house with cleaning and decorations and preparing for the Holiday. They were with U/us on Christmas Eve when we prepared my family's traditional Christmas meal of a standing rib roast, Yorkshire Pudding, glazed carrots, layered salad, crusty rolls, all topped off by a scrumptious trifle. They enjoyed the meal and the company of one of Master's brothers and his family. They enjoyed the late night viewing of "Love Actually" after the guests went home.
They were both here the next morning for the traditional opening of our Stockings, followed by a nice breakfast, clean up, and then the unwrapping of gifts around the Christmas Tree. They left to go to her mom's house around Noon, and Master and I had some time to kick back and relax before O/our dear friends, newly married, came to share the evening with U/us. Instead of going straight to my son's father's house after spending time at his girl-friend's mom's, the kids stopped here and were able to say Hi to O/our friends, someone who is special to son too. It was nice for him to meet her husband and introduce her to his new girlfriend. They left to go to his father's where they spent the night and returned home to U/us the next day. He always returns to U/us. :)
So, the day after Christmas, before the kids came back, Master and I relaxed and rested to regain O/our strength after the exertions of the Holiday and the days leading up to it. I must confess, without the Vitamin D supplements of the past months I would never have made it through this whirlwind of activity, and I am very grateful to my doctors and health care providers for diagnosing and fixing this problem.
Today, I had a routine mammogram in the morning (BAD TOUCH!!!!!) followed by a trip to the Fire Museum with Master, son, son's girlfriend, sister-in-law, niece, nephew, (brother-in-law had to work) and a dear friend and her husband. We enjoyed viewing the old time fire equipment, and seeing the history of fire-fighting through the years. The museum also had a lovely train garden set up for the Christmas Holiday, and after the 9 of us finished in the museum we went to a nearby restaurant and enjoyed a delightful lunch.
On the drive home, I realized that so far, this has just been one of the very best Holidays I've experienced in many years. I prepared myself for a lonely, poignant, quiet Holiday, (even though being blessed to have my Master and sharing Life with Him is more than enough, there is just something about Holidays that has U/us both expecting to be with extended family. And while I was prepared for the quiet, non-traditional, I was instead, given a wonderful, family and friend-filled Holiday that has been more lovely than words can say.
Some of this is because I'm more physically ABLE to have this type of schedule and celebration, and I have not been physically able in the past few years. I cannot say enough about what the Vitamin D deficiency did to me. It's barely noticeable as it's happening, slowly adjusting to less and less capability, not knowing why, not really realizing anything is wrong that can be fixed. Instead, when conscious of the reduced abilities, assuming it's age, or weight, arthritis, depression, lots of things to explain the diminished capabilities. And then when the Vitamin D starts to take affect, and all of a sudden I am energetic and filled with zest for life, the mental and physical willingness and interest in doing things - it's truly dramatic. So that's some of why I've been able to entertain IN my (O/our) home again.
But I still think some of this is granted because I don't push and force and try to pound people to be the way I want them to be. I don't insist on getting my own way. I try, at least with my son, to step back and allow him to fly on his own, making sure that he knows that I am, and always will be, the wind beneath his wings. And so perhaps the Universe provided for me, because I was willing to accept less. Perhaps, because I chose to view the glass as full rather than empty (after all, if it has half water and half air, then it IS full,) I was given an over-flowing glass.
I don't know. That all might be silliness and crazy conjecture, but it could just be the truth. I'll never really know for sure, but I do feel there was great benefit to me in practicing acceptance and willingness to compromise.
Tomorrow, Master has decided W/we will travel out of State to visit my mother, and give her Christmas gifts to her in person. I had never even thought this was a possibility, and am elated that He gave this to me, and to her. And guess what? O/our son and his girlfriend are going with U/us to visit his grandmother too.
Is the Universe good or what??? :)
I am a blessed and lucky and happy little girl.