Christmas far from, close to home

Every time around this year I get an enormous pull to go home. I allow myself to miss my family, to think of them for longer than one minute and of course whenever I do that I realize how much I do miss them.

We try to connect strands together, links across this fat country. My mom and I do a Christmas card every year. She takes the photo, I write the poem – we’ve been doing it since I was in high school. But how much better it would be when I’d be looking over her shoulder at my words on the screen. I think this is the first year she hasn’t wanted to change something which in my eyes means I’m finally making sense as a writer. I’m finally starting to say the things I mean to say. And I’m proud of that. It hasn’t been easy – oddly enough.

I am grateful for the loves of my life. I have many and I am lucky. I am grateful for sledding in Truckee, Calif. The red noses, wet clothes, the introduction to the world of snow. I am grateful for Ruby’s on the Pier in Seal Beach – the long walk out over the ocean. The fishermen, the sun, the smog and on a good day you could see the tall buildings of downtown Long Beach pointing their fingers to the sky. We’d stand, my family and I, watching the surfers bob like wind-up toys. We’d forget we were even hungry.

I am grateful for my “family” here who has taken me in time and again when I literally had no one else. I get to see Christmas through children’s eyes again, where reindeer can fly and santa’s not just an off-duty cop who dresses up in a red suit for a little extra cash.

On Friday, I will send my love off to Idaho and be thankful that he is with his family, in his old bed, curled up between the valley of his home. And I will be here missing him, sending my love like a web to all reaches of the country. We will prepare for Santa and make sticky buns and listen to Christmas music, watching old traditions make new impressions on the little one’s of the world.

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