enough of this maudlin crap

This is how we spent Christmas Eve:

Dad worked all day at the apartment. Scott worked all day at work and then went hunting for our New Year's Eve pig. I worked all day at home except for the hour I spent at Starbucks and Safeway, which frankly was the best hour of the whole day because I ran into Roberta, Sierra and Uncle Phil, and I talked to Lisa (finally) after days of missed connections.

I didn't realize til tonight how much Christmas Eve meant to me or how far we as a family have drifted from our roots and in some ways from each other. Scott and I have grown ever closer - a huge blessing. And although it's a good thing, Matthew living elsewhere has changed the dynamic of the household as well. And even though we live with Dad, striking a balance between his perception of filial piety and our perception of common sense has not been easy. He is mostly independent and declines 99% of our offers for help. We try as much as we can to consider his feelings and do only what is necessary so that he won't feel trampled or disrespected - it is his castle after all - but this lack of a Christmas Eve has made me step back and recalibrate. We all, including Dad, have the right to enjoy the holidays, right? We can't force anyone to be merry, but they can't stop us, either.

I was content enough to vacuum and do laundry today, but had a major WTF moment at dinner. Only after sitting through dinner on Christmas Eve, of all nights, in which he (Dad) ignored everything I tried to share and instead focused SO HARD on who has what disease, how much it sucks to get old and lose your memory, and how you just have to "go with the flow" (and no he didn't mean it in a peaceful zen way, he meant it in a defeatist way) ... I finally realized, like it or not, kids or no kids, I am now the matriarch of this family and I have to stop waiting for someone else to step up and make the holidays festive.

It's on me.

That's equal parts scary and wonderful.

No comments: