Thursday, November 11, 2004

Either Here or There

The holidays draw near, and I watch their approach with sadness for as I plan to host the Thanksgiving dinner and draws names for the family Santa exchange, I know that Audrey will be absent for one of them. I will either sit down to the most grateful of holiday meals with my little daughter enjoying it elsewhere or wake up Christmas morning to nothing more than my alarm, for her excited cries at the discovery of a present-stuffed tree will not be reaching my ears.

It is only the dawning of Audrey’s fourth year of life and already she and we are dealing with whose house she will go to for which holiday. I know that we can celebrate Thanksgiving on Friday, or pretend Santa comes on Christmas Eve morning every other year, and these will likely happen eventually, but it is so difficult to break with time-honored traditions. Traditions I clung to so strongly in the years of moving and leaving throughout my childhood.

But it isn’t just a matter of holiday tradition that concerns me. I wonder too at the future, a future that could hold remarriages for both Sam and myself and perhaps and likely even more children for the two of us, children who do not float between homes and parents, but are the children who stay, while Audrey will be the child who goes. And I wonder if it would have been better to stay in the marriage (shudder) so she experienced a stable childhood, and if I should just let her be my only child so she and I never have to deal with the hardness of keeping some children while letting her go.

I will never be able to identify with my daughter’s experiences, because they will be so completely different from mine, but I won’t be able to pat her on the back and tell her that I know what she is going through, because I won’t, but I can make every effort to make it something that doesn’t bring excessive tears, trauma or a need for therapy. I just have to get over it myself, and get used to the idea that “the perfect family” is not in the cards for me, though a “happy family” very well could be.
- Crazy/Hip Blog-Mamas +