Monday, December 24, 2007

Home for the Holiday(s)

I've not been feeling particularly well, save for when Mom offers me a magical Vicodin. But I did arrive home safely on Saturday and we celebrated Christmas Eve a night early so that Older Cousin could travel today. I've been working and running errands and spending time with my parents.

I had just left on Saturday morning, informing my parents that though I wasn't feeling great, I was heading home.

"I need to talk to Aunt Katie." I heard Little One insist and Dad promptly handed her the phone.

"Are you bringing the Strawberry Shortcakes?" She asked me eagerly and I winced.

"I forgot them, sweetheart." I told her of the toys I used when I was little. "But I have a trunk full of presents for you." I listened to her wait in silence for a moment before asking if I should turn around and get the Strawberry stuff.

"Yes." She responded quickly, so we back-tracked and got the large plastic strawberries filled with dolls and shoes and plastic pets. I also had the Strawberry Trolley, a gazebo and some sort of spinning ride for the dolls. I'm an awesome aunt.

It was lovely last night - eating pizza and opening presents and nibbling on super-sweet sugar cookies frosted with even sweeter icing. I got sad near the end of the evening - I'd received presents, the only adult to do so. Aunt got me ornaments (handmade, and they're beautiful), Cousin bought toys and treats for Chienne and Sprout and Older Cousin bought very pretty knick knacks. Which was sweet, I suppose, but we're supposed to buy for the kids. I am not a child and I don't like that I'm so blatantly different because I don't have any of my own.

Even Mom forgot me. She named the couples who would be attending the evening's festivities and ended up with 10 adults.

"I'm right here!" I cried and she blinked at me before laughing.

"Eleven then." She said and shook her head at her mistake. I teased her about it and it wasn't a big deal, but I feel less because I'm unpaired and childless. They love me, but I felt heavy with the failure to create a family of my own last night.

But I feel better this morning - still with a tummyache but much less sad. It should be a relatively quiet day today. So there will be work and writing and rearranging presents under the tree. Then tomorrow there will be more food and gifts and family. And then Christmas - with all the joys and sadnesses around it - will be over for another year.


EA said...

Oh, boy, can I relate. The years between my getting married and the siblings I grew up with having families of their own were weird and awkward. They celebrated holidays with their new families, mom had remarried, and I was in this limbo space, finding families of friends to celebrate with.
I look back on it now as some kind of loss of innocence, and initiation into my Heroine's Journey (ref: Joseph Campbell).
At any rate, really I came to say: Merry Christmas Katie. ~EA

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry it's hard sometimes, i know what you mean. I wish you a wonderful Christmas nonetheless, fully of playing with little one and your strawberry shortcake toys!

Rebecca said...

One thanksgiving I lost it on my aunt. I was 23, my youngest cousin was 18 and he was the only one that was NOT of the legal drinking age. None of us were married yet. My Aunt, as she had since we were all babies, set up the kitchen table for the "kids", poured us soda, and put our food on our plates. She then took all the "adults" in to the dining room to have a toast.

I lost it - pointed out that we were all adults, and that she could at LEAST offer us a drink or ask us to join the toast.

I really don't think our parents start to see us as grown-ups until we are married and preferably have our own rugrats. It doesn't matter how old or accomplished we have become.

That doesn't mean we're doing anything wrong. I got married at 35 and have a better relationship for it. Don't let them make you rush or feel bad about your choices and following your path.

Joy said...

I remember the Christmas I hinted to my sister that I wished I could spend Christmas morning with her family- her son was three, I think. She reacted negatively, so of course I didn't ask.

I can understand that it's her family celebration but it made me sad to think I may never have the expeience of seeing a child's joy on Christmas morning.

I'm glad you're with your family and I wish you a blessed Christmas.


Wayfarer Scientista said...

I can totally feel for you on this! I'm the only one in a large sprawling family that hasn't married & procreated and I'm getting tired of them telling me I'm an old maid and treting me differently! That said, I do love being an Aunt. Hope you feel better!

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