If this time of year is about anything, it’s about family time. We’ve guarded out time between Christmas Eve and New Year jealously for years as the run up to Xmas is a busy one for us with work anyway and latterly an emotional one. The last two years have been full of panto and this year we have THE WEDDING OF THE YEAR to attend. And anyway, things feel different these days; it’s one thing to be precious about family life with small children but when everyone has their own life, friends and *I’m not really saying this* boyfriends to facebook with, finding those minutes to be together gets harder and harder. For me this time of year is wearying; battering down the grief so it doesn’t impact on the others is tiring, work has that element of juggling to keep it all going that makes you wake up in the middle of the night remembering you promised someone a bar of red Fimo as a free gift, not a green one – and then all the parties, events, commitments and end of year shooting other children with lasers activities get heaped on top of school runs, tired kids and an endless stream of colds.
We are together in the house less and sometimes I forget that it is okay to grab joy at all, so busy is the pure and simple processing of people, never mind remember that increasingly we will have to accept doing that in smaller partitions of family.
On Saturday, while some of the girls danced, we grabbed the moment to stretch our legs and go for a walk. It was cold and grey and wind and rain was coming, but this boy is a boy who needs to use up energy and I needed to find some peace from all the crowded emotions, so out we went.
It’s a funny thing, given the strange and convoluted path we took to complete our family. These two are so close; observing a father-son relationship build is something quite peculiar. Maybe it’s different, maybe it’s only different ‘because’ or maybe I am just more aware, but I don’t get any greater pleasure than seeing them together. Bene turns me over for daddy all the time – and I do mind at all. I love watching them grow together. I hope I’m watching it for a very long time. I’m always conscious I might not be.
It was good to spend some time feeling a little more ‘wild’. I get so focused on only loving outdoors in Devon, that I forget I could do it all year round (when not driving people to gym, dancing, TKD or rugby – or school).
This was Fran’s coat and boots; they’ve been worn by all the girls and now by Bene. I love seeing clothes handed down, though the opportunities are rather fewer these days 🙂 I’m trying to hunt down a photo of Fran dressed the same – I don’t seem to have one – because they just look so very alike.
We walked. We looked at mushrooms. Bene crunched in all the leaves available. We blew on cold fingers and looked at thatched cottages a stones throw from our house that we never see and wished to live in the gorgeous cottage waiting to be rented as offices. And we spent time together.
Like Kerry’s family, we are still learning to be without one of us; the space might seem less significant than a lost mother – and it perhaps is – but it is a space. I’ve seen the effect of a mother lost too early, Max has been motherless since he was a little boy and Kerry’s family are in my mind often, another blogging family carrying on with grief central to everything but also part of the carrying on. So this one, this walk, was for Kerry and for all the should have beens and might have beens in our own family and other families we care about.
Part of the Family Frolics blog hop.