Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Christmas and family estrangement
Christmas is a hard time to be estranged from one's family. I was feeding Littlest lunch when the postman came this morning. In today's post was (happily!) a Christmas card from an old friend.
Oldest pipes in with: 'What does it say, Mommy? What does it say?'
Me: It says 'Happy Christmas'
Oldest (giggling): Happy Christmas! Happy Christmas Mommy!
Me: Happy Christmas Oldest.
Oldest: Say 'Happy Christmas' to Littlest Mommy!
Me: Happy Christmas, Littlest.
Oldest: Now, say 'Happy Christmas' to Daddy!
Me: Happy Christmas Daddy.
Oldest: Now say 'Happy Christmas' to Nana!
Me: Happy Christmas Nana.
Oldest: Mommy! Mommy! Say 'Happy Christmas' to Nora!
Me: Nora? Why would you say that? Why Nora?
Oldest: (looks confused)
Me: Oldest, why did want me to say Happy Christmas to Nora?
Oldest: Nora is in Timothy Goes to School, Mommy.
Yes. A perfectly reasonable explanation, Timothy Goes to School being one of Oldest's favourite television programmes, albeit one he hasn't watched anytime recently. And yes, Nora is a character.
But it's also the name of my mother. And I haven't spoken to my mother since before Joshua was born 9 months ago. Before that, I hadn't spoken to her in almost 2 years and then only briefly. I no longer have her phone number or address. It was such a shock to hear her name like that. I'm still a bit shaken more than 5 hours later. Was she already on my mind before Oldest mentioned her name? I can't really remember. But I'm thinking about her now.
Now really is the time when people reach out to their loved ones and say 'Happy Christmas' and I won't be able to do that with my mother this year. We've had our rough times over the years and we will never have a great relationship considering what we've both been through, but I'd have liked to be able to send her one of Oldest's homemade Christmas cards. I'd like her to be able to hear Oldest's sweet little voice shouting 'Happy Christmas' down the phone. Maybe next year.