Thursday, December 24, 2015

A Celebration of Momentary Perpendicularity

Got on a lucky one
Came in eighteen to one
I've got a feeling
This year's for me and you.
So Happy Christmas
I love you Baby
I can see a better time 
When all our dreams come true...
- "The Pogues" 

At some point either late this afternoon or early this evening, the space I occupy shall be shared by the Colorado branch of the family business.  Jess and Rob flew east from Colorado on Tuesday night.  The Missus and I shall see them this evening and, again, tomorrow morning for a little while.  And then, gone again they shall be.  

Our children ceased being children too many years ago for me to accurately recall.  Suffice it to say, it was quite some time ago.  Once upon a lifetime ago, our home was a bevy of activity on Christmas morning.  I would awaken first, make the day's first pot of coffee, and then not too long thereafter be joined by my wife.  Suz and Rob would sleep (or at least lay awake in bed) for as long as either could dare stand it before emerging into the living room for the commencement of Christmas activities.  

For a small group, we certainly produced our share of joyous noise.   If you are a parent of a small child (or children) for whom Christmas morning still is THE DAY on the calendar, then embrace it and enjoy that joyous noise.  Before your know it, it shall live only in your memory.

One of the trickiest paths to negotiate as a parent is the one upon which you travel when your child transitions from being a child to an adult.  You may have a period of time during which he or she - upon completion of high school - is still dependent upon you (at least to a degree) - but the hourglass flips from the moment that the graduation cap is tossed skyward and his or her "childhood" officially acquires an expiration date.  And once the sands start traveling downward, they do not reverse course.

Once grown, whether your child lives nearby, in an entirely different time zone, or someplace else altogether different, he or she is no longer merely your child but rather an adult living a life parallel to your own.    In all likelihood neither of you is skiing in virgin snow as it were.  Your steps are likely those once walked by your own parents much as those of your child are likely those you once walked yourself.  

The role each of you plays is that which is carried forward from one generation to the next.  It is the role each of us was born to play, which may or may not make it one that we find easy to learn.  Learn it we must.  For although the child is no longer merely the child, he or she still takes cues from us and looks to us for guidance.  

For the Missus and me, Christmas is not merely Christmas.  It is a celebration of momentary perpendicularity.  A moment in time in which the lives of our adult offspring, which lives normally run parallel to our own, undergo a temporary course correction, and cross paths with our own.

And when that occurs, it is a cause for celebration.

Even if it lasts only long enough for the Boys of the NYPD choir to sing one last verse of "Galway Bay"...  


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