I Don’t Wanna Grow Up

My family just moved to Japan this past Monday and it hasn’t really sunk into my conscious mind yet.  I still feel as if they are in Hawaii waiting for me to come back in December.  Unfortunately, I won’t see them till spring break in March 2011.

As I was in the library doing my usual research of writing and witchcraft, I started to realize that I won’t be seeing my family this winter break.  This will be my first Christmas without my family…I didn’t think it would be this hard to take in.  I never realized how important these holidays are…to spend it with family.  The people you know and trust the most in your lives and I’m not going to see them on the day that is supposed to bring family together.  I don’t know if it’s just the New York cold season beginning and if I’m experiencing seasonal affective disorder…again.  I’m sure that that may be part of it but it’s not the whole issue.

As I was walking back to my dorm after being in the library for about four hours, I thought about the traditional things me and my family did on Christmas.

I remember how my dog Cocoa would think that all the presents under the Christmas tree were hers.  If I went near them, she would growl and bite my hand to assert her authority over the presents; it was ALLLLLLLLLL hers.  On Christmas morning, we would have to give Cocoa her present first, otherwise she’d be biting all of us when we try to open our presents.  I remember when I was younger how I’d count the presents that were mine.  If I had more than my brother Stephen, I would rub it in his face.  If he should have more than me, I would go up to my parents and complain while he rubbed it in my face.  I use to measure it up to their love for me…how silly.  As the years went on, I didn’t want dolls, socks, or the simple things.  I would ask for a new laptop, a Wii, or something that would definitely exceed the amount of $20.  Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy just getting candy for all I care.  What I’m realizing now is that it wasn’t about who got more or how expensive the gift was.  I think what matters most to me now that I’m realizing is dinner time.

Every Christmas, my father would cook each of us small individual chickens and stuff them with stuffing.  Kind of like a little mini turkey on Thanksgiving.  It was always delicious and cooked just right.  We would sit around the table and have conversations about what we normally talk about.  It’s just becoming more and more rare to have the whole family at the dinner table: me, my mother, father, and Stephen (Terry, my oldest brother, couldn’t be here.  He hasn’t had a holiday meal with us in a very long time).  Christmas was the only time that guaranteed all of us to be at the table, together, civil.  Who knows when we’ll all be at the dinner table together again…

This Christmas will be extremely different considering that I am spending it with my boyfriend Daniel.  At least we have in common the fact that we both won’t be having dinner with our family.  But, I suppose it’s just part of growing up.  Just because we’re getting older and may move away from our families, or in my case vise versa, doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m moving away from them in spirit.  They’ll always be a part of my life and they’ll never leave my life. I know this…

I just have to keep reminding myself.  Growing up is a harsh reality but it’s inevitable.  We just have to remember that although we may not physically be with our family, they’ll always…always…be in our lives to guide us, be proud of us, and love us.

    • Chelsea
    • October 22nd, 2010

    Beautiful words, Jenn! I very much agree with you that no matter if your family moves away or have passed away they will ALWAYS be with you as long as you carry them in your heart!!

    • joanne
    • October 22nd, 2010

    am i allowed to comment on here…?

    i ❤ you! and have dinner at my house!

    • Danielle Morrin
    • November 15th, 2010

    The mini chickens sound delicious! I agree, the holidays are always about family. I think growing up is both about learning how to apart from them, but appreciating the time you have together.

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