The kids are growing up, and as they do so, drifting away. Their independence is greater than their need. I think back to those days when I was smothered in children. When I knew every moment of their day. When our lives were so entwined it was difficult to see where one started and the other left off. When they were a part of me, and I was a part of them.
When Carol and Theresa's mom was diagnosed with early-stage Alzheimer's and their dad's vision started failing, the news was met with some denial -- and their parents' groaning aversion to leaving their home of over forty years. The sisters, one of whom is my mother-in-law, came to realize that they are now parenting their own parents. In coming to terms with this they also realized that they each need support too. The result is an inspiring and positive arrangement. They've become "co-caregivers."
On this second week of January when so many of us have thrown in the towel on our January 1 resolutions -- apparently only eight per cent of people actually manage to succeed with their New Year's goals -- I'm here to diss "The Diet" in favour of common sense, moderation and a few other nuggets of truth I want to pass on to my daughter.
Last night, my husband spoke the three most terrifying words in the English language. "Take a break." I was horrified. My blood ran cold. "But, but..." "No buts about it. Take the day off. Why don't you have some fun?" he suggested, smiling. Fun? Fun!? I drew a blank. And that's when I knew I had a problem.
As we speak, there are thousands of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender folks from across the world who are not able to spend Christmas with their families this year. They have been beaten, cursed at and made to feel like they do not belong, leading them to say goodbye to their family and friends.
As a seasoned traveller, my wanderlust runs deep (from backpacking to business travel, I have circled the globe numerous times). Now as a mother of two, I am passionate about cultivating and passing along that love of travel to my children by placing an importance on collecting experiences, not things.
Some are geographically distant from those they hold dear and raise a solitary glass to absent friends. Others have lost loved ones to the grave. But for many of us, "no contact" is a choice we consciously made. Loneliness is simply less painful than the agony of spending time with our toxic families.
This Christmas, their laser-beam eyes are focused on you. You're the dish of the day. You're gonna be stuffed with advice and ladled with criticism. Because they can't stand themselves. Deep in their souls, they feel like failures. What better antidote than subtly belittling you via the mechanism of meddling.