Senior Night, Seasonal Ponderings
I've been "on the road" again, no big surprise, although it wasn't really a planned trip. It was lovely to see my kids and granddaughter, but it wasn't really a vacation, more of a lot of pleasant hard work. The oddest thing was to go from the autumny chill of northern California mountains to the tanks and flip flops wearing heat of San Diego. I finally adjusted by the time I was leaving. And then spent the days since I've been returned getting back in sync with sweaters and scarves.
I like being spontaneous, but there's always a price to pay, usually having to get back in the groove, up to speed, back on track, rebuild my momentum, yada yada, and so on. Which is why there's been no blogging. I'm having to tackle lots of loose ends and niggling bits that have piled up. Ugh. I hate these sort of tasks, singular projects, a handful of which take up an entire day while not contributing to the accomplishment of the everyday must dos or want to dos.
So - just a quick catch up post.
Two Fridays ago was Senior Night at the football game. This means the Seniors leaving after this season have their parents come down onto the field and acknowledge their help and support. Traditionally the mothers wear the boys' away jerseys. Here I am trying out a football pose. Okay, so it's a goofy pose.
Hubby was standing on the other side of William but broke out to take this photo. The tallest kid on the team of course has the shortest mom.
The moms planned a little surprise for the boys. Before the game the team gets in a block and does this "energy builder" thing where they sway back and forth and do shout outs, then they all jump around and hit chests and other manly things. When the parents were supposed to leave the field, instead the mothers all ran out into the middle of the field and did the same routine. Everyone laughed. Don't we look ferocious!
It's all in fun but poignant nontheless. It's the end of a season for us not only in football but in our family life as this is our last high school season. William plans to go on to play college ball so (knock on wood) we'll have more years of cheering from the bleachers, but we won't be part of the local sports community any longer, after going on two decades of participation.
Speaking of the end of a season, we've had an exceptionally long and brilliant season of autumn color this year as well. I've been enjoying it through it's progression over these last weeks. But last night a rainfall took down most of the leaves in our mature maples, which turned while I was gone. I'm bummed I only got two enjoy a few days of their golden splendor.
I think this winter is also the end of another season in our lives, or rather, that it's a new stage in our extended family life. One I knew was coming, thought would come years ago actually, but each year the holiday season sort of fell together because the kids tried hard to all make it home for all or part of the holiday dates. Each year was unique, but still held a solid thread of familiarity in the way we've done things in the most recent past.
But this year holds signifigant changes. Instead of hosting the holidays, we will be the traveling ones this year. Instead of decking the house and stocking the refrigerator for waves of arriving family from October through January, we'll be packing the car with gifts and visiting our children and grandchildren. We'll have some visiting family, but I won't be the main director of the "holiday show".
I have mixed feelings about this. I'm a little bit sad, a little bit relieved. It's not like our traditions now have always been "the way we do things". They're only the way we've done things in the recent past. There have been many shifts, waves of
"how the holidays are done". It was different before I had children, when my kids were young, before the divorce, after the divorce, since the kids became teens, when the teens became fledglings, and now as the kids become parents and the centers of their own families. Shifts have come in the past, some gradually, some dramatically and all in one year. I knew this one was coming, it's been shifting for several years, and it's not a bad thing. It's just that I knew that one year, and this feels like that year, it would finally feel like closing the door on the last stage and moving into a new one. It's bittersweet.
Along with the waving goodbye to old routines though is the opportunity to reinvent the holidays. Along with the reflection is excitement about the chance to recreate this time of year. For a long time I've wanted to drop a lot of traditions that I felt I was just going through the motions on because others wished for them to continue. Now is my chance to hone the season down to those elements that bring me most joy, letting go of those that were more obligatory than enriching. The key to getting rid of things, whether it be a box of old clothes or a schedule of old traditions, is that it opens up space for something new in to enter ones life. Who knows what new traditions are waiting in the wings, waiting to be "the way we do things", waiting to fill our family's lives with happy memories.
So - sad, reflective, uncertain, excited, enthusiastic. A cornucopia of holiday emotions. Note, however, that "overwhelmed" isn't in that list. That's a tradition I'd be very happy to make a thing of the past. Knock on wood.