Christmas is a time of traditions that we hold tightly…the much-loved decorations we put on the tree every year…Grandma’s recipes we faithfully reproduce…the rituals on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. But as our children grow up and grow into families of their own, it’s not always possible to maintain those traditions. We must embrace the changes, just as our parents had to do and remember that being together is all that matters – whether it’s Christmas day, the day after, or a week later.
They tumble out of my house the same way they tumbled in
sippy cup and mugs in hand, mini I-Pads under their arms,
giggles echoing in the quiet, frosty after-Christmas morning.
Adaline, the ten-year-old, big-sisters the little ones into their car seats.
Emma, the bright-eyed, six-year-old middle child,
tenderly tucks her new Cabbage Patch baby into the seat belt.
Zachary, the all-boy, five-year-old force of nature,
waves a battered Tigger, his irresistible dimpled smile
displaying the space where his new front teeth will soon be.
Daughter-in-law, Amy, and son, Steven, circle the van,
tightening seat belts, squeezing in last minute snack bags,
fastening those ever-present I-Pads to the backs of seats.
They are like a well-oiled machine, packing every space,
carefully tucking newly-acquired Christmas presents
into their digitally-equipped Santa sleigh on wheels.
Their visit has been a whirlwind of presents, food and laughter…
getting re-acquainted with grandchildren who are suddenly taller,
and squeezing in quiet catch-up talks by the fire after kids are in bed.
As I watch the firelight play on Steven and Amy’s much-loved faces,
I silently lament the fact that they live out of daily hugging distance.
Kudos on these parents who could have stayed home by their own fire.
The kids wave as our 2017 Christmas visit comes to an end,
and the Santa safari van moves on to the next grandparent visit.
Happiness is…all of us together…for three glorious days.
SHARON CANFIELD DORSEY is an award-winning poet and author of a memoir, Daughter of the Mountains; a book of poetry, Tapestry; and four children’s books, Herman the Hermit Crab and the Mystery of the Big, Black, Shiny Thing…Revolt of the Teacups…and two newly released books, Buddy and Ballerina Save the Library and Buddy, the Bookworm Rescues the Doomed Books. Her poetry is also included in an anthology, Captured Moments.