Winter break


I want to remember winter break this year, because it was utterly ordinary and not at all perfect.  Already, as I write this in early January, the not-perfectness, the yelling and the imperfection, is fading into the slurry of memory and I’m recalling the shimmer of quiet days together.  It was the last time that my children will ever celebrate Christmas at 14 and 11, and every moment these days is limned with its own numbered-ness.  I know we won’t come back here. I want to remember it.

The week before Christmas was sort of frantic, with Matt and I working and the kids seeing friends before they left town.  Whit had a wonderful visit with one of his besties from camp who was visiting Boston. We celebrated with dear friends and finally, on the 24th, baked Christmas cookies.  On the 24th, we went to our local church for the annual pageant and service that I love so dearly.  I thought of the two Christmas Eves that Whit spent in the Children’s Hospital ER before he was 5 and felt grateful that he was sitting next to me in the pew. Then we had Christmas Eve dinner with my parents and our oldest, dearest family friends.  I sat next to my very first friend (we met when he was 6 weeks old and I was 2 weeks old) and watched my son (his godson) as we sang carols and felt full – of love, of all that’s over and almost-over, of what’s coming, of life itself.


Then, on the 25th, the world screeched to a halt for a few days of quiet, which was entirely welcome. We had several days of marvelous visits with my sister, her husband, and her two children.  We had dinner with my father’s brother and his family (his oldest daughter, my first cousin, lives in Boston and is near and dear to all four of us) and celebrated my sister’s birthday.  My parents took Hilary and me and our families away for a night and we enjoyed being together.  There was rain and blue sky, milkshakes and birthday candles, swimming in a tiny pool and board games on the floor of a hotel gym.

On New Year’s Eve, friends from the neighborhood came over for an impromptu drink before dinner.  It was lovely.  Then we had New Year’s Eve dinner as a foursome, under stars on which each of us wrote some intentions for the new year. We played board games and had dessert and then moved upstairs to the family room.  Matt fell asleep and I joined him about 10:30.  Grace and Whit watched the ball drop.  I don’t know how long they will want to mark New Year’s Eve this way, but I’m going to enjoy every single second of it while they do.

On January 2nd, Matt and I went for a run together!  We ran and walked, and mostly walked, but we were out there, and together.  I can’t believe how far he’s come from the fall, when he was immobile and recovering.  I’m thrilled for him, and proud. It felt like an auspicious way to start the new year.  I’m hoping it’s a great year for us all, and for you, as well.

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  1. Trish
    Posted January 11, 2017 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Happy New Year!

    So glad Matt has progressed so well. You have your walking partner back. Sending warmest wishes your way, Trish

  2. Posted January 11, 2017 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    It sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas and New Years. Ours were great, I just would have treasured some slowness.

  3. Posted January 12, 2017 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    Your holidays sound so lovely…ordinary in the best possible way. Here’s to a year ahead with many magically ordinary moments 🙂

  4. Posted January 19, 2017 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    That sounds very peaceful and perfectly balanced with connection and joy. 🙂 And so great that Matt is up and RUNNING! What?! Hell yeah, 2017. xo