December 1st 2003

Posted on 01 December 2003

Last night I sent out an email to my mother and Rob and my children. I asked that they give me no gifts this Christmas. I am quite content with my material lot. I ask that they take me out for coffee and tell me something that they’ve never told me before or some deep, dark, secret. Or, if they have the time and inclination, they can give me something they make themselves that doesn’t involve money.

I thought this a good solution to the material side of Christmas and might reap something much more precious than an object. I also know that this gift I am asking for, could prove more difficult than shopping for a present.

Thus far I have only heard from Rob. He asked me why I didn’t like Christmas. He loves the gift giving and receiving. He has fond memories of his childhood Christmas’. He likes the challenge of buying something special for me and the children.

I see his point. I do love giving gifts that I know will delight – not gifts for gifts’ sake.

The house feels empty today. Yesterday, Gill packed her bags and left for a week to stay with a friend whose mother is out of town. When she asked permission and my face fell, she told me that it would be good practice for both of us. She will be leaving at the end of the school year.

When Brendan left to live in London for a year, he told me that he was more afraid to stay than go and I endorsed his plan. I was shocked at the void he left. I wouldn’t allow anyone to touch his room until he had been gone three months – the date of his return ticket if things didn’t work out.

When Mike left, it was a little easier, as I knew what to expect, but not much.

And soon Gill will do the same. Oh dear, I have a feeling that the last child is the most difficult to say goodbye to.

I know this leaving is a necessary part of growing up but still my heart aches.

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