Emotional · Parenting · Singledom

Tis the Season

Christmas is a tough time for a lot of people. It’s never been bad for me: I’m very lucky and blessed to have a close, small family, so it’s always been easy to make simple plans.
My best Christmas ever was my first as a mum. The baby was a mere three months old, and he sat in his bouncy chair gurgling at everything. My best present was that a couple of weeks before, he smiled for the first time. I took a series of three pictures of the moment, and his dad bought me a mug with the three pictures on it. In the first the baby looks a little shell-shocked. In the second his face is contorted into a weird half-smile, eyes squished up as he tries to master this new movement. In the third he is beaming broadly, and you can almost hear him laughing.
The next Christmas was a complete contrast. I was newly single, with the split happening a mere four weeks previously. I will never forget the feeling of handing my precious one-year-old to his dad to spend the afternoon with him and just crumbling. He was the only reason I was still operational – he was the only thing that had got me through those past four weeks – and now he was gone, on the most family-related day of the year.
I was so angry at his dad. The opportunity to have those amazing family Christmasses with Santa and Christmas Eve traditions and happy faces had been taken away from me. My new Christmas tradition would involve spending part of the day alone without my child and arranging handovers. One out of every two Christmasses I wouldn’t get to see his wee face when Santa had been. That year I took the Christmas decorations down at 6pm on Christmas Day. I just wasn’t in the mood.
This year I’ve done my best. I’ve tried to be like that series of photographs. It’s been a while since I had a genuinely big smile on my face, but I know that I am blessed and that I have a lot to be thankful for, so even though it feels a little weird, I’m trying.
Maybe in a few years time it’ll feel natural, but the only way that is going to happen is by practising…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s