Family Fun and Letting Go

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

What a week…we survived our whirlwind trip to the Big Apple.  We arrived on Wednesday, late afternoon and left again at 5pm on Friday. So often we think going across the country for two accumulative days is way too crazy and we choose not to go, but we had the best time.  It was everything we wanted it to be.  All of my husband’s family lives in the NY and Boston areas.  His aunts and their children and now their children have always been a huge part of our lives. Now my children yearn for the rare visits with all of them.  From the minute we all arrive in NY it is endless chatter, laughing and catching up.  As I said in my last blog post, the food is so secondary – the family and the camaraderie is what we all crave.  We all gather on Wednesday night at my husband’s Aunt Ellen and Uncle Stephen’s apartment on the Upper East Side.  That night there were 16 people for her famous Mac and cheese and Ham.  She is a writer and lives a very quiet life…I tip my hat to her for being so gracious and having enough food for the four teenage boys and all the rest of us.  For my children, I love that they are close to the older generation in our family; it gives them a real since of wholeness, of belonging.  We all wish they lived closer!

Thanksgiving day, being in a different time zone, we didn’t wake up until 10:00 am.  Katie came to our room and we watched some of the Macy’s Parade and then American in Paris with Gene Kelly…wow…how great is that movie?  He would certainly be on People magazines sexiest man of the year cover…

By 1pm we rallied the troupes to head up to Grandma Judy’s for the big feast…No breakfast needed since everyone was barely rising.  My one irritant was that I had asked my 16-year-old son Matthew before we left California to make sure he packed a nice outfit for Thanksgiving with leather shoes. He basically rolled his eyes and said he had it covered.  As we set out from our hotel, he was wearing a short sleeve shirt, not even tucked in, pants and black leather tennis shoes that I think one of his friends left at our house.  Oh what happened to the days when I had the nice blue blazer and bucks or loafers for him to wear?  Of course he proceeds to tell me he didn’t bring anything else…HELP…Oh well…Everyone did comment to me after our return home how incredibly sweet, attentive and polite he was…I know that is all that really matters, but a sweater and a nice pair of shoes would have been nice too.

Letting go of our sweet “babies” is a struggle. Some aspects I really love…enjoying the adults they are becoming is such a treat.  But some things aren’t so easy. For instance my oldest son Danny, who is on the verge of graduating from college, calls every week telling me what he might do post graduation.  Some plans pretty good, others a fright.  I hope I am strong enough to handle whatever my children’s choices are.  I have this weird sense of just being a witness now…my input certainly doesn’t really have the weight it once did.  Life is full of transitions – this one I think might be difficult.  As mothers I think we stay very sentimental of the cute, loving little children they once were…why can’t we hold on to that?  I know it is the natural progression of things. Maybe we have 10 or so years off then we can start it up again with our grandbabies. Then we really will understand viscerally what everybody meant by “it goes so fast”…