One of the most difficult challenges for families experiencing transitions such as separation and divorce occurs at holiday times, particularly when it is the first event after a family transition.
It’s that time again — Santa spends all year watching little boys and girls but for one night the tables are turned, thanks to NORAD Santa Tracker.
When my husband and I started a family, I assumed that my babies would hand me a one-way ticket to holiday bliss. I couldn't wait to introduce them to all of the little traditions that I remembered from my childhood.
It was the first holiday in over a decade that I did not go to bed filled with a sense of longing for a "real" holiday. Making my own agenda and celebrating with likeminded people made the day much more gratifying.
I gather all the Christmas card photos we received in the mail and slowly peruse them, an undertaking I never have time for during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. I see smiling children, and increasingly I find myself thinking, 'Who are these kids?'
The second act is watching the joy my wife gets being around her two girls... or the pride I get when they grab my hand to hold it just one more time. The second act is teaching them to ride bikes, watching them play with their toys, seeing them grow out of each little outfit.
This year, we went to Playa del Carmen, made the varsity cross country team, and scored a gorgeous goal from 20 yards out. But really, that's not all that impressive. What's impressive is what we endured, survived, and supported each other through despite it all.
Going on a long road trip with kids is kind like watching a Ken Burns documentary. You have a feeling you should be enjoying it, but you're really not. And you end up just wanting to take a nap.
Friendships end, but more often they ebb and flow, even those that last a lifetime. And not without some heartache along the way.