>You know… this might be the first time in my life I’m not going home for both Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Why you ask?
Well, there’s been a lot of mess going on with my parents and myself, which I will not go into, so let me take this time to reflect on some musings about past holiday happenings…
I know the ideal holiday gathering is what you see on TV. You know… where everyone comes home, even the family member who braves the bad weather, against all odds to make it home JUST in time to have dinner and open presents. Everyone has a good time, reliving old stories and good time family feelings. Basically, your Brady Bunch kind of stuff. We also know… it just doesn’t happen that way!
So what’s happened to me? Many things.
I’ve only come close to an ideal Christmas once, and I think I was about 7 or 8 years old, in first or second grade. I got a lot of presents. That’s always a good thing, and I still kind of believed in Santa Claus. I remember waking up that morning… REALLY early and I found a Yoda shampoo in my stocking (yes… a Yoda shampoo bottle!). It was really nice. I had time to play with the toys and things I got and all was good.
I guess the bad times came when I was ‘old enough’ to go hunting. I didn’t really understand anything about it and I get put on a trip to Pickens County, AL to go hunting for deer. I remember the first time I was told to stay on a stand… a bunch of us were set up along a tiny dirt road on some leases Gulf Stated Paper land. I was told to shoot the deer if I saw one. Well I remember the dogs turned loose and they came awfully close to me. I didn’t know though that while the dogs were fairly close that a deer has passed right by me, but there I was… not having anything to do and barking right along with the dogs. I know, it’s funny, but hunting wasn’t really my thing. I hadn’t the faintest clue about anything and damn it, it was COLD! It wasn’t until I discovered that I could get into a tree stand and actually read books to pass the time that I even remotely enjoyed hunting. So what’s the point? Well I know my dad wanted some good father-son bonding time, but he should have at least asked me if I wanted to do it without the pressure. I mean, it really says a lot to get a bunch of hunting related clothing and gear for Christmas one year… no pressure you know… I really didn’t like being pulled away from my free time during the fall, on the weekends, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas and the off days after the two. I missed out on a lot of time doing nothing. I know dad would get upset sometimes with me taking one of my Christmas gifts with me to play with or occupy my time.
Let’s not forget the family get-togethers. I know that many times, before many holidays, or special events, I would get a nice large list of chores to do (and so did my sister) and we would get the place clean. Of course, when I got older and into college and afterwards, I would get called home, usually a little earlier than everyone else, to help clean the place or help cook the turkeys or what not. I can understand that mom and dad probably needed the help, but a lot of times, I didn’t appreciate working on getting things ready only to be taking a shower when everyone starts coming.
Nothing against my sister, but I know there have been plenty of times when she would come home, and the attention would be focused on her (probably because she’s rarely home any more). I’m jealous of that you know… I can admit that. what would completely chap my ass is that on top of dad making his really stupid cracks and making fun of me (out of love of course!) would be my sister Lynn joining in on it. Lynn, if you’re reading this, then you should really know this, but it really makes me feel like I’m not loved and that I’m the family punching bag. It’s not a good feeling you know. It’s all really stupid you know, from an outsider’s point of view, but I’m telling you, when this happens it hurts.
It makes me want to pack up the bags and go home right then and there.
In fact, I think I almost did just that a couple of years ago. Sometimes, it’s just too much to handle and I want to go and curl up into a ball and cry my brains out like a little girl and feel completely sorry for myself.
There are good things too you know. There are the times that I can help to cook something, to play pool with my dad, sister or other family members, watching movies, looking at photos, taking photos, or just talking and catching up. Those are the things that I’d like to remember.
So why the blab fest? Why the self-pity? Well despite all the bad things that have happened and that most definitely will happen, there will be the good. That’s what the holidays are for. this week’s episode of Boston Legal reminded me of that one.
I have the hope that despite all the past wrongs, errors and what nots, that I can come to terms with them, that I can have complete understanding for the first time with all of my family members, and that for once, I can be fully understood and respected by them.
I know that as we grow older, we grow wiser (for the most part), and we can all be adults and learn to respect one another. Maybe certain family members can come to respect me a little more and understand things. Maybe I can do the same, but it is not a one way street. One must not have to do something to get something back. It takes effort by everyone. Effort to love, respect and cherish one another. Maybe if we can do this, then we can all have happy holidays.
I know I have a long way to go.