This time of year is always hard for me. I know this instinctively about myself and try to prepare myself for it. I love the holidays, and put my energy into making them special. But being away from 'home' is something that just sits like a pit in my stomach. First there is Halloween, then Thanksgiving, then Christmas and Kaeden's birthday...and though I adore my family here, it feels like a little piece of me is missing...missing out.
When we make our Thanksgiving decorations it is with this stubbornness that proves me to be American. When we pick out our Christmas tree, probably my very favorite day of the entire year, it is with some little niggle in the back of my head as I smell all the pine, feel the needles pricking my fingers, and sap sticking to my palm, that this is what I did back home. And on Christmas morning mingled with the delight of sharing these moments with my children, creating traditions for them, that my own family is thousands of miles away and I am not a part.
It is a subtle ache that begins in October and slowly builds through the holiday season. I feel my smile more forced, not any less real, but with a bit more effort. My eyes still shine through all the fun, but tears prick behind that twinkle. I just feel slightly wound up from stress, and not the 'all I have to get done' kinda stress that comes with the holiday season. More a stress of accepting that when I moved to Europe to make a life for myself, I also chose to not partake in all the special family activities. And it bugs me. Bugs me that I had to make such a choice, bugs me that I did make that choice, bugs me that I wouldn't do it any other way if given the choice again.
I couldn't be more happy with the family I have; my husband and our boys. We have a good thing here, filled with love and support and this year with all the changes we've had in our family, a bit more peace and rest. I am allowed to be a mom, my husband supports us financially and provides a very satisfying lifestyle for us. It is the kind of life dreams are made of. BUT, it doesn't allow me to share in all those most-important family days, and sometimes the homesickness builds until I can't see beyond it. I'm not allowed to have a Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Christmas such as those I grew up with. No matter how wonderful those we have made are.
I'm trying to keep those ill feelings at bay, concentrate on the wonder of our life, our home, our family...here. Trying to come to terms with the fact that this choice I made didn't take from me and my family, but added to what I already had. I'm trying, but I'm starting to feel tickles of longing fill the back of mind. I'm trying, but the rain pouring down just adds to the gloom. I'm trying, but....what I wouldn't give to head to my Wyoming mountains covered in snow and reach out and wrap my arms around my mom and dad...
I'm homesick :-(