Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Eve and Traditions

I used to regret that we have no grand Christmas Eve tradition with our son. We decided when we moved to Austin that he should have what time he could with his family in Chicago. We gave him up for Christmas so that he could share the time with his grandma and grandpa, aunt, uncle, and cousins. It was important to me that he know the feeling of having extended family around him.

They treated him like a visiting Prince come to their nation. He was feted with feasts, games, and gifts. Others came to visit, bearing tokens to the castle where he held court. As a good prince, he was gracious and giving. He still is. The love is there.

Did we miss him? Of course, we did. Did we tell him? No, we thought not, thinking he should go free of us to his magical Christmas in Chicago. Who knows which choice would have been better? We know that the house was empty without him there.

So our son owns a Christmas tradition that does not include us. I think of that and hope that his memories are filled with wonder as he faces that time now when the tradition falls away and nothing comes to replace it.

I wish I could hand him the same magical, child-like wonder, but he’s no longer a child, and nothing can match years of a Christmas tradition.

Here I write on Christmas Eve as morning comes up over a gray Chicago lake. Now I’m back where the tradition took place again -- only 17 years too late.

I’ve loved him from afar every year on Christmas, catching the smiles that he’s willing to share. I trust he knows that love can handle the distance no matter the time and space. And as he leaves to start his life after college, the same love will hold him safe.

That’s my Christmas tradition. It lives in my heart surrounding the gift that bears his name.
−me strauss Letting me be


Amanda said...

What a huge sacrifice as gift. Merry Christmas.

ME Strauss said...

Hi Amanda!
Merry Christmas. He's our son -- kind of says it all. It was joyful, truly.

Thank you for the care that your words show. :)

Janus Torrell said...

Have Merry Christmas, and don't worry he misses you too :)

ME Strauss said...

Hi Janus,
Merry Christmas!
Thanks for your lovely thoughts. I know he knows we love him. :)

Trée said...

Merry Christmas Liz. :-)

ME Strauss said...

Merry Christmas, Tree!

Dawn said...

Liz, I think your son's Christmas tradition very definitely includes you. It was born in the love that raised him and sent him off each December and Summer vacation to bring joy and laughter to others in your family. It lives in the seed planted, not only in his heart, but in the heart of his grandma and grandpa, and in you and your husband as well.

P.S. - The last line is a tear jerker.

ME Strauss said...

Oh Dawn, It wasn't mean to be a sad, sad story. It's only a tale of what happened and how it affects our family. My son his own tradition. Our traditions re opposited, yet almost sybiotic.

We love and therefore they work.

dsnake1 said...

i am sure your son will feel the love you have for him, even across the distance.

have a Merry Christmas, Liz! :)

ME Strauss said...

Thaks Dsnake,
I think so too!
Merry Christmas!

Tell No One said...

365 days of Christmas Love. You guys are lucky to have one another.
It reads all of you... already know this.

Merry Christmas Liz



ME Strauss said...

Thank you, Katrina,
Merry Christmas!
You know the rest. . . :)