08 February, 2007

Christmas Parts Two and Three

I do not find it odd at all that I am writing about Christmas in the near middle of February. I have taken down the tree, the lights off the house and the Christmas boxes are back out into the rafters of the garage, but I am still sorting through holiday cards, peering at family and friends and debating whether to throw away those lovely photo cards, or stuff them into a small sack (think babyGap bag) and place them in a box or on a shelf where i will find them in one and two and three years and experience the wonder of whether I should keep them all over again.

So Christmas part two was driving back to Northern California. I suppose I never finished Christmas part one. That was Christmas dinner at my mother's house. My mother and father have a beautiful home which has a view of the ocean. They took advantage of the vista and placed a tent with a heater in the back yard, set up a long table, put out the finest china and wheeled out the high chair and booster seats for the babies. It is not very often that we are all in one place. This year we had all four kids and spouses and their kids.

We are an odd lot, filled with insecurities and joys and pride and eagerness and needs and hopes. I know each family has their own shape but I am not sure this family even knows what it is supposed to look like sometimes. It took so long for the "blended" part to blend.. we are still working on it. When my parents remarried and I realized I was going to have three step sisters and one step brother in addition to the one brother I came with.. I just decided that this is what my family looks like, what it will look like for a long time so I had better get used to it. I called the girls my sister when I introduced them ( and when I put their names on Gap family Day invitations) and the brother, well he was a brother. I introduced my new step parents as my "mom" or "dad". This was most painful to everyone else at first. My older step-sisters probably didn't really want me around at all at first, and it has only been in the last 5 years or so that I feel like there is a deeper affection (at least with one of them!) My step-brother (from the other side of my family) and I really love each other, but we don't know each other very well. We are getting to know each other better as we get older, but having never lived in the same house, it is difficult to have shared memories outside of the Christmas when Demanda fell into the Christmas tree and Easter when Maga (his grandmother) wore all black. We are getting there though, and have had quite a bit of fun in small bits and pieces.

So Christmas part one was beautiful and made very relaxing by the fact that my parents had put us up in the fanchy schmancy hotel providing us with a little breathing room with crazy Jake and babyLucy...and giving the precious objects in their home a chance to live another year.


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