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Friday, December 28, 2012

A Few Days after Christmas


Not a perfect Christmas tree, not a perfect Grama

The Christmas season comes and goes like a whirlwind, and before you know it, you're sitting by the fire with your empty coffee mug and wondering, Where did the time go?  I wanted to have my neighbors over for some Christmas cheer; I couldn't wait to go to the annual "Christmas Lights at the Zoo"; I looked forward to a road trip to Charleston to see their Christmas festivities; I had every intention of mailing a few Christmas cards ... the list goes on.  Didn't happen.  Perhaps next year.

I was drawn to my iMac to write down a few random thoughts after Rob and I saw "The Guilt Trip" with Barbra Streisand, and "Parental Guidance" with Bette Midler.  I'm not a movie critic, but for me, both movies had themes that most women my age (40+) could relate to.

Two topics that resonated from both movies--for me anyway--were respect and we're the other grandparents.  Listen to me, no matter how perfect we try to be, we all have quirks*, from the grandparents, to the parents, to the children.  Most of our family quirks we learn to ignore and even laugh at.  Some cut a little deeper.  (*If you don't know the definition of quirk, look it up on google)

As our kids turn into adults, we slowly turn loose of them so they can become who they are destined to be.  Even so, we still want them in our lives.  A simple phone call now and then brightens our day, sprinkles sunshine on the challenges we face in our own lives.  We don't have to agree on much, but a phone call means more than any present money could buy.  You don't have to agree with me, but please, respect me for who I am, your mother, your grandmother.  Now I can hear those amens coming through the wi-fi wires, loud and clear.  Not from the kids so much, but from you mothers and grandma's.

The other topic.  We need to stop comparing ourselves with the other grandparents.  After talking with a few of my friends, I realize that now and then we all go through the comparison thing.  My Mother always felt bad because she couldn't give expensive Christmas gifts like the other grandparents, but her grandkids didn't love her any less.  It was her laughter and silliness that we all remember about Mama Cook.  That's what I'm hoping my kids and grandkids remember about me.

So lets begin this year with this decision: I will not compare myself with anyone.  I will let go, and be me!  I will continue to respect my parents for who they are, and hopefully my children will respect me for who I am.  Like my friend told me, "When our family gets together for the holidays, its a madhouse!  But we're family, and that's who we are."  Well, said, dear anonymous friend.

So there.  That's all I wanted to say for now.  I wish you smooth sailing and oceans of blessings for the New Year!

www.sharonleaf.com