21 December 2015
‘Tis the most wonderful time of the year once again. The sun has long retired, and this evening’s sky is bruised some sleepy shade between black and blue. Gene Autry and Josh Groban croon carols from the radio, and holiday cheer is in the air. Tonight, I am seated beneath stadium lights, writing to you from the comfort of my car. Yes, welcome to Monday nights.
As 2015 winds down, just one word comes to mind as I reflect upon this advent season and this year: soccer. Ok, perhaps I’m exaggerating a bit. But it is mid-December, and I’m writing to you from a car parked 30 miles away from home in the midst of a season with no end in sight. Just sayin’.
Like so many of the years we have lived up to this point, 2015 has been a year marked by movement, transition and change. Shortly after this year’s commencement, we began remodeling a house older than our parents’ parents. And so began the end of our free time. Late last spring, a new soccer season began as we moved from our beloved cabin in the woods to a new-old labor of love near the beach. Although my family seems to have transitioned just fine, I am still recovering.
Way back when my kiddos were itty-bitties, I remember being on the receiving end of nostalgic counsel from mommas, aunties and nanas who had been-there-done-that. “It only gets harder,” they would say with knowing smiles, then hand my poop-stained babies back to me. How can that be? I wondered incredulously – sleeplessly. And now… well... now, I write Christmas letters from my car.
Maya, aka CEO (11), has a plan. Always. She’s grown moody and funny and lovely. Almost daily, she makes sure to let me know just how old I am, and she owns more shoes than me. When she’s not at school, she’s on the phone. Or online. Or at soccer, at WyldLife, at piano or at Girl Scouts. Cole (10) astounds with his uncanny ability to unload closets, cupboards and drawers in seconds. He’s fiery, humorous, and he wears it all on his sleeve. His winning smile still shines brightest with friends, on the pitch or when he’s surrounded by Legos®. Paul (41) is always scheming something up. He works very hard, and he’s a good friend to many. He chairs our local Young Life committee, helps to coach Cole’s soccer team and wakes up before the sun for CrossFit a few mornings each week. Yeah.
As for me, I’m nearly 40 and up to a little of this and a little of that. I reflect on Christmases past and recognize that I’ve grown; that feels good. I’m grateful for this road we’re on and just how far we each and all have traveled. Yet, I also feel humbled by past issues and insecurities that paralyze and circle back around from time to time. These days, I’m trying to become a better friend to the space between stimulus and response. To embrace and to lean on a story greater than my own.
Paul and I have been together now longer than we haven’t. That too feels safe and good. We‘ve grown up together, and now we’re watching our babies become unique and interesting persons who take up space, make us laugh, make us crazy and make their opinions known (well known). This year, we have made new connections, rekindled old flames and lost a few dear friends along the way. Another year has proven that this life is both precious and short.
And this life – this world – is in perpetual motion. These are tumultuous times, and some weeks, the most grounding, gratifying and meaningful connections we have are in the car on the way to soccer practice or when screaming in solidarity from our living room couch (GO HAWKS!). At a time when so much seems to be changing, it feels good to sit back and soak it all in. I may be here a while.
Wishing you a wonderful season,
Abi, Paul, Maya and Cole
Posted by Abi T. at 11:52 AM