This is not a fitness or health post. It isn’t a recipe share either. While it may be considered, in a way, a bit about wellness, it is really an honest admisson that I have likely gone off the deep end. I have become one of those crazy people that the rest of the normal people avoid while standing in check out lines, grocery shopping or attempting to otherwise go about their business.
I was running errands this morning and popped into PetSmart to buy crickets. The Third Son got a leopard ghecko named Elvis years ago for Christmas. While Elvis received lots of attention for quite some time, the poor thing now lives almost forgotten in our home except for my attempts at providing live crickets and replinishing his water. Somehow I am the only one that remembers him or will actually get him out of his habitat for a litte exercise. Anyway, today was a crazy day at PetSmart since it was not only a Saturday during Christmas season, but also a cat adoption day.
I found myself behind a young mother carrying two large dog beds chatting with her son. He wanted to go over to the window to look at some of the kittens and wanted to touch some that were waiting to be adopted. He was bright eyed, curious and oh so so so cute. I found myself watching and listening to his conversations with his mother. Then I became one of those people. I couldn’t stop myself from asking the mother how old Chase is. Of course, I know his name now because I had been eavesdropping on them for a good five minutes.
That is when it happened. I felt that overwhelming wave of warmth totally envelop me and my eyes welled up with huge tears. I began profusely apologizing to this young mother about getting emotional. I told her that her son, at age three, was at my favorite age. I missed that sweet, magical time so much. I explained that I have three sons, all big and growing and grown. Rather than look away and distance herself from my embarrassing display, she asked their ages and nodded. She was kind enough to say she completely understood and seemed wise enough to totally get it. We talked a bit more about her son, this time of year and all of its magic. We talked about how he wasn’t so interested last year, but seemed to get the whole Christmas thing this year. We even talked about the cute kittens up for adoption. This young mom was so understanding, patient and wise that I just loved her.
As I made my way through the checkout line and to the parking lot, I could not get over the overwhelming feelings of nostalgia and sadness. The Husband called just as I was getting in my car and I had to admit out loud to him that I had lost it in the PetSmart checkout line because the little boy in front of me was so cute, and that I missed those years, and that I almost adopted a kitten to make myself feel better. Ugh. Is it the hormones or am I actually losing it?
But I will be honest here. I don’t think it was all about that little boy. I think this time of year sucks a lot of people down. Yes, it is the most wonderful time of the year. Yes, I do know the real meaning of Christmas and rejoice in that gift every single day. But, most definitely, this time of year can be a really sad time for many people, and especially for people who are separated from loved ones.
A holiday that is meant to be shared with family, friends, and loved ones only highlights a missing person, whether from death, divorce, misunderstanding, or just physical separation. It also highlights the loss of certain times, traditions or customs, where those have changed.
This time of year is filled with all the wonderful things of the present, but also full of past Christmases and memories. For me, I have people I miss. I miss buying that tin of pistachios for my daddy, filling a stocking for my mom and picking out the perfect book for my brother. These were my people and I miss having their gifts under the tree. I miss their presence during Christmas. That seems to suck some of the magic out of the air for me.
I love my big, growing young men, but I also miss the trips to Santa, hiding the big wheels, baking the treats, and finding matching pajamas. I’ll be honest here. It is just not as much fun. There I said it. It sounds pathetic and whiney but it’s true.
So, what is the healthy thing to do here? (besides going back for a kitten?) I think simply to acknowledge it and move on, right? Life is this big, huge, ever-changing experience. It is large and wonderful and special reminders of its gifts are around every day. The same goes with this time of year. Christmas is a large and wonderful time of year and is the ultimate reminder of the greatest gift.
So I buck up, hang the stockings and enjoy. And if you see me in a check out line I will try not to become that crazy person again.
Enjoy Your Day!