Thursday, January 3, 2013

When the Holidays Leave You Longing for More

 It’s been a few weeks since I’ve written, but the break was much needed so that I could focus on celebrating Christmas and New Year’s and to simply be with my family. The kids, husband, and I travelled to Rhode Island and New Hampshire to spend Christmas with my in-laws. What a wonderful week it was. We went sledding and skiing and saw Disney on Ice. We relaxed next to a warm fire, thankful to be on vacation. On Christmas morning, we swam in a pool of wrapping paper and boxes and packaging as the kids insisted on taking every new toy out of the box so they could play with it right away. I took too many pictures with my new camera in hopes that I could capture all the memories. It was a week filled with fun and laughter and the comfort of having a full house at Christmas.

 Now that it is over, I am longing for more.

A few days after we got home my daughter told me she missed grandma. I thought about how confusing it must be for her to spend a whole week with her grandparents and have so much fun just to have it all suddenly come to an end. I thought about how often I got to see my grandparents growing up and never had to worry about when I would see them again. I thought about how my kids have not just one, but two sets of grandparents who they miss desperately. I thought about all the other military families who don’t have the luxury of living near their families, but must travel hundreds or thousands of miles just to see them at the holidays.
As I looked at my little girl’s sad face, I wished that I could just get in the car and drive her to her grandma’s to play for a few hours. I wished that our trip to Grandma and Grandpa’s house could end with a hug and a “see you next week!” I wished that we didn’t have to choose one family to spend the holidays with, but could have the ability to visit with both sets of families. On New Year’s Day, I wished that we could join my parents at their house for dinner and head back home at the day’s end. I wished that the military wouldn’t take us away from the most special people in our lives.
The fun and fulfilling time we spent with family this Christmas should have left me feeling content. But instead I am left with a longing, perhaps because of how great it was. It has left me wanting more of that kind of time together. More family dinners, more stories, more laughs, more pictures, and more full houses.
Over the years, I have learned to adjust to nearly every change and challenge that goes along with military life, and being separated from family is one of them. But the holiday season is a time when, no matter how well I have adapted, I go back to missing the years when the week between Christmas and New Year’s meant seeing everyone we love—grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins—on both sides of the family. It is a time when simply wishing each other a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year over the phone is just not enough.
I dream of a time when we have the ability to visit with all of our family during the holiday season. But I am also thankful for all the family we have, even if we can’t see them as often as we’d like. And I will rejoice in the memories we made this Christmas, the one which has left me longing for more.   

1 comment:

  1. You were in RI??? I'm from Massachusetts right on the border and I was back for Christmas too! :) Your children are so cute!