The 12 days of Christmas is a time honoured classic. Of course I no longer need a partridge in a pear tree, but 10 maids a milking or 5 golden rings would be fine and I would be REALLY happy if I had 6 geese a laying! Yes, my lazy chickens are STILL on strike... down to about 65 birds and still 5-10 eggs a day.. not much to sell these days and nothing this week since I need the few I have to do my Christmas baking.
Speaking of Christmas baking, I never really enjoyed it all that much. I have mentioned in the past I never was much of a baker but one thing I enjoyed every year, from about the time Rachel was 3 years old was going to my dear friends house and baking Christmas cookies. It is a tradition that started one year shortly after we returned to live in Nanaimo. We thought it would be fun to bake together so I went with Rachel, out to her house one Saturday afternoon in December of 1997 and we created a tradition that lasted all the years we lived in that city.
We would head out to her house after lunch. We each brought the basic supplies and baked sugar cookies and shortbread and drank wine and ate appetizers and laughed, giggled, cried, shared and bonded for life. When we began this tradition my little girl just played,watched TV and helped somewhat as she could or wanted to. We, the big girls, connected, emotionally, physically and spiritually. These were beautiful treasured days.
This year, I miss my daughter, she won't be with us this Christmas and I miss her desperately but I am so grateful to know, that this past weekend she was once again able to participate in this special tradition. This year, the baking was at my friends daughters house, with her children and my daughter was the one drinking wine and giggling, laughing and telling stories with my dear friend.
Was I jealous? YES! Was I happy? YES! I am so blessed that they are my "family". That they love us, take my girls in as their own and are the god parents who are there to offer support when I am not. My daughter moved away on June 20th - that is 5 months and 26 days ago (yes I am counting!) She has journeyed across this great country of ours. She has lived in 4 different cities. She has had good times; bad times; grief; joy and now unconditional love.
I am so grateful to all of the people who have reached out and helped her along the way. It hasn't always been what we all expected in the interaction but it has all been a learning experience for everyone. To all those people, thank you, truly. She has had a time to grow, learn and move forward. I know that many kids start school in September right after high school but this 6 months out of school, working menial jobs, not working, being alone, being surrounded by loved ones and finding her roots - has helped my baby girl grow into the beautiful woman that she has become.
There have been times in the past - almost 6 months - that I have wondered: Did I do my job right as a parent? Of course I made mistakes, tons of them. Did I give her skills she will need? Did I advocate or as some people have said "enable" her too much? I don't know. I did my best. I loved her with all of my heart and got really ticked off and frustrated at times too. I do know this - I parented her the best way I could and today, I see a strong woman developing. During the past 6 months I have had "constructive" feedback from young moms and people without children and while I consider their opinion - as the old saying goes "Until you have walked a mile in my shoes..." I know that at times I wonder about other parents and how they care or parent for their child - but I know we all do the best we can with what we know. I was also guilty as a young mom of saying "I will NEVER do that..." but , well, good luck , it is a tough job and the rules keep changing... I do see a young woman who is creating her future, learning from her past, taking the good with the bad and making her own memories and that is all I can hope for.
I miss you baby girl - but I am proud that you are standing strong - bouncing back from adversity and holding your head high. The years have dealt you many blows - but we all have things that either kill us or make us stronger.
Meanwhile, we are home in Fosterville, NB where Len is still shoveling us out after a huge dump of snow fall - a good foot and a half and I know he would be happy if the Ten Lords a Leaping would show up and give him a hand! Me? I have learned to enjoy baking and now that is my livelihood, so back to my Christmas baking, just got another order, so back to work for me!
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!
The Twelve Days of Christmas
On the twelfth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Twelve drummers drumming,
Eleven pipers piping,
Ten lords a-leaping,
Nine ladies dancing,
Eight maids a-milking,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree!