It is the last week of our Christmas season, which generally ends on Epiphany or Twelfth Night, January 6th (see Twelfth Night Brings Christmas to a Close). This year, our order of events has changed, much for the better.
While Aly attended college and continued living down south afterward, the Christmas seasons she could come home were truncated considerably by her departure to return south in time to start a new term or get back to her job. In the past, a day came shortly after New Year’s Day, but always before Twelfth Night, when we had to pack her gear out and run her to the ferry.
This process always took much of the joy out of our holiday, leading to either an emotional limp to the finish line, or forced gaiety, in which we grasped at reasons to blunt the sadness of her departure.
Not this year! Our final week is marred by little more than a return to work today, which will be a family affair of sorts, as I need to go to town for appointments as well. When we come home, we come home together. We’ll see out Twelfth Night together, and when we return to “regular time” we’ll do so together (see Preparing for Re-Entry and The Key to Simple Living: Appreciating the Present).
This year’s Christmas celebration has been particularly sweet for us because all the restrictions of Aly’s visits are removed. Besides removing the departure, we had no arrival within the holiday period. Aly participates in the season from the very first to the very last, much as she did before leaving for college.
While we’re basking in this pleasure, we also discuss and analyze it a fair amount.
We, like so many families, face the issues of adult children living at home. Yet, like so much about our lives, we’re dealing with it far differently from what most people in similar situations seem to face. Our family relations seem blessedly more relaxed and positive than many we hear or read about elsewhere.
I credit that to Aly’s character, and to us for raising her as we have. We seem to have retained all the positive aspects of a child/parent relationship while layering on new, welcome nuances as we cohabitate as adults.
Shell Cottage should help this a lot (see Aly’s essay, The Many Lives of Shell Cottage) but at the same time, she hasn’t moved over there yet, and it looks to be a while before that happens. We are “living on top of each other” for now, and have done so since June with no ill affects.
Perhaps this is because of our united purpose here on the homestead? Michelle and Aly may work jobs outside the property, but the homestead remains the focus of our energies.
No doubt we’re a likely subject for psychological/social study.
Whatever. It’s still Christmas, we’re still celebrating, still basking in comfort and joy. To whatever extent you choose to do so, we hope you are, too!