Friday, December 26, 2008
Christmas Eve blues
So, we just had the holidays, and Christmas is a pretty big deal for my family. Every Xmas Eve the Millers congregate at my aunt and uncle's for a traditional ham dinner. It's always a great time. There were 8 of us cousins growing up, all within 7 years of each other. We were pretty much raised as siblings ... with all the love, laughter and bickering that you would expect. Now that we're older, Christmas is one of the few times we're all together again.
It's a day I really look forward to, but this year, there were a few things that really made me sad. And they all revolve around the fact that we're no longer kids ... just adults with grown up responsibilities.
Alyson, who I was always closest to (we're only 2 months apart in age) had to leave for work before I could get there from my job. That means she missed the BIG PHOTO.
Every year we do a cousins picture ... but over the last 10 years, there is usually at least one missing, where as the ones of us as kids are complete. You can watch everyone grow up just by flipping through them. All the feathered hair from the 80's ... sideways pony tails, the boys growing (or trying to grow) patchy mustaches and beards.
Real good blackmail material.
When my cousin Jeff joined the Marines he was the first to be absent, so we propped a teddy bear in uniform in his place. (The bear made us all do push-ups after ... that made me really miss Jeff.)
Four cousins are married now, two with kids, one has a baby on the way. Their spouses are all fantastic, and the kids are great too ... but it's so weird seeing my cousins as parents. These are the ragamuffins I'd run around and break stuff with. Now they're the adults ... telling little versions of themselves to behave. Jeff, who was arguably the biggest trouble maker of us all, had to take is little girl aside and explain to her why it isn't nice to kick cousin Steve between the legs. Watching his serious "Daddy" face and hearing his stern "Daddy" voice was enough to make me burst out in hysterical laughter.
Oh boy ... I'll have some stories for his daughter one day.
Maybe a lot of women would look at them all happily married with adorable rug rats and have that twinge of jealousy ... but that isn't what I was feeling at all.
More like woefully nostalgic. I had this moment where I just missed being a kid ... missed all the fun we had together. We never wanted to go home – so much so that one of the parents would have to run outside and pretend to see Santa on a rooftop just so we'd leave willingly.
Is there something wrong with me? A 28 year old woman that resents having to be a grownup? Is it so bad that I just want to be a little girl in trouble for kicking a boy cousin in the balls?
Or maybe along with inspiring suicide and weight gain, the Holidays just have a way of making us miss believing in Santa ... resent the reality of adulthood.