I Musta Flunked Kindergarten

I have distinct recollections of kindergarten.  Actually they are some of my earliest memories, because unlike my eldest, who has memories back to when he was two, I blocked out a lot of my earliest years 🙂  Apparently little of  import happened before I went to school.
School was always sort of my thing.  Believe it or not I was painfully shy (something I obviously outgrew, LOL) and easily embarrassed.  I recall being mortified for another girl when she wet her pants in circle time.  I’m not sure I would have gone back again if that had ever happened to me.
But there are a few life lessons from kindergarten that I obviously didn’t grasp.  I still can’t cut a straight line to save my life.  And I obviously completely bombed sharing.

Oh, I’m excellent at sharing *things*.  I had five kids, after all.  Everything of mine was theirs, even, money.  *Especially money*.  We’re in the process of slowly replacing everything they ruined and then left behind because it wasn’t good enough anymore 🙂  If asked, I’ll not only loan something to a friend, I’ll quickly forget I loaned it and will be completely surprised when it’s returned.  It’s not only my early memory that’s faulty!  And I’m the ultimate team player, so sharing ideas and strategies with colleagues has never been a problem .

So until the last few years I would have sworn that I had the sharing thing down pat.  Until I had to start sharing my family.

Turns out that I am incredibly selfish in that area.  With three of the kids married now, and two with children, the kids are pulled in lots of different directions for holidays.  I’ve been flexible about changing times so they can get to the in-laws first.  (There was a method to my madness:  I figured I’d get them longer that way.)  And when my kids wanted to change things for Christmas to start their own traditions for their kids, I understood that, too.  As long as everyone made it home for at least one of the days.

But now the worst has happened.  My daughter’s boyfriend lives too far away for her to make two holiday meals.  In the past they just went separate ways.  But I’ve just been informed that they won’t be here for Thanksgiving.

Somehow the fact that they will be home all of Christmas doesn’t make up for it.  Last year my oldest and his family didn’t come home for Thanksgiving at all.  I joked for weeks that he was getting the traditional Amish shunning…but I wasn’t entirely joking.  It seems so little to ask that the entire family be together for at least part of the day on three holidays a year.

I know it’s going to getting even harder.  And that brings a clutch to my chest and a lump to my throat.  My dh says just get over it.  He’s helpful that way 🙂  It doesn’t seem to bother him at all and I have to wonder why?  Why don’t my holidays feel complete unless I have every single family member together?

What lessons do you recall from kindergarten?  I have to get better at this sharing thing.  So if you have any suggestions for ways to make it easier (aside from drinking, which I’ve already got down, LOL) I’m open to hearing about them!

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13 Responses to I Musta Flunked Kindergarten

  1. Kathie says:

    Oh Kylie, I know exactly how you feel and I am sorry to say – it doesn’t get any easier. I have 2 daughters and a son who was in the Navy and miss a lot of holidays. His daughter lives with her mother out of state, so I only get to see her when she comes to spend the summers. The girls and their families live close but with work schedules, school events, etc. there is not enough time left in the day/week/year. Until a couple of years ago we had a big Thanksgiving ‘to do’ but not everyone could always make it. We do still have Christmas together, although it is the week before on a day that is good for everyone. The best advice I can give is just roll with it and enjoy the time you get. I have heard of those who have special “holidays” at a time of year that works for everyone. I know it is not the same but maybe it is something to think about. Have a wonderful Day!!! Kathie

    • kylie brant says:

      Kathie, I think of my mom. There were six of us and only two lived in Iowa. So she rarely got the family together for holidays. But I guess I long for the holidays of my youth, when all my cousins and aunts and uncles got together at my grandparents’ house. Miss those days!

      • Kathie says:

        I know, right. It was so easy then, at least for us. There were four of us girls and we were at home for every Thanksgiving and Christmas until far after we had families of our own. I just always thought that was the way it was supposed to be.

  2. loisgreiman says:

    I feel your pain, Kylie. I have the same problem…not at holidays so much. I’m not really a holiday kind of person…I’m an EVERYDAY kind of person. I want them here all the time. I don’t know how to get over it so I have zero suggestions for you.

  3. kylie brant says:

    Well, misery loves company, Lois 🙂 I do have proximity going for me. All the kids are in one place and everyone has tickets to the Iowa games so during fall I see them on many weekends. But after Christmas we have to make a point to plan get togethers in their town because it’s a long stretch from Jan. to summer!

  4. leannebanks says:

    My husband and I couldn’t be at both our parents’ homes for all the holidays, so we rotated Thanksgiving and Christmas. Because of that, we knew we wouldn’t have every holiday with our kids. We just tell ourselves we don’t have to be together for a particular day and try to make the best of it. I know it’s gotta hurt your heart not to see your sweeties on special days. I’m sending hugs your way.<3 xo, Leanne

    • kylie brant says:

      I try to do the stiff upper lip thing and not make the kids feel guilty when it’s impossible to get two places the same day. But last year when my eldest chose *a football game* over coming home for Thanksgiving, I was not happy!!! And I did pull a mom guilt ploy last Easter by emailing one of my sons and saying since he hadn’t been home since Christmas, I was assuming he’d make Easter 🙂 He did, LOL.

      • leannebanks says:

        I would have been ticked about the football game over Thanksgiving and probably said something snarky like “well, I guess this is a ONCE IN A LIFE TIME EXPERIENCE”!!! And I think they get busy, so it’s fine to REMIND them how long it’s been since you’ve seen them! More hugs!:)

  5. kylie brant says:

    Leanne, LOL I can do snarky 🙂

  6. Linda says:

    I doubt that I can help but give you the perspective from the other side. I cannot get to my parents very often, in fact it is usually only once a year. I would love to visit more often but between my job and being 13 hours away it is just not easy. So my advice is just be glad that they come home more then I do with my parents.

    • Kylie Brant says:

      I know, right? You’d think I’d be grateful. But there’s this constant craving for the Norman Rockwell-esque extended family celebrations we had when I was a kid. And my kids grew up with that, too. Sigh. I’ll have to get used to it, I guess. But it’s *hard*.

  7. Cindy Gerard says:

    We have only one son. He married a ‘goddess’ who we adore and she has a ton of family. Girls go home. We realized that from the get go and knew we’d have to be flexible on Christmas. Doesn’t make it any less painful that we never get to see them on Christmas Eve and that to see them on Christmas day, we must drive 2 hours for a brief 3 or 4 hour visit. But, again, we make it work as best we can. Christmas is celebrated at our house either the weekend before or after to make up for it and we always get the kids on New Years while Mom and Dad have a little one on one time. So … sorry to say this but suck it up buddy and like me, be thankful that they are close by:o)

    • Kylie Brant says:

      I know, you’re my hero 🙂 I should be grateful…one of my son’s goes to Michigan the week before Christmas to celebrate with his in-laws. I’ve shown no interest in celebrating on a different day because with working full time and all these kids I just can’t the shopping done early!

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