Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Home for the Holidays

It's been a minute since I posted to my blog and I apologize. Just like everyone else I get all caught up in the daily struggle we call life and it seem like with the holidays things get a little bit more complicated. Holidays are really special to me and once again I think it is because of having to go without that has made me more thankful for each year that I get with my family. For another year that I can see the joy and amazement in my children faces on Christmas morning. While I was in my abusive relationship the holidays seem to just disappear all together. There was no family gatherings, there was no joy, no tree and no present for the kids to open on Christmas morning. Most years we would just pretend that Christmas didn't even exist. Now to an adult Christmas day can seem just like any other day of the year but when your a child it holds so much more meaning. We never really verbally addressed it and the kids were young enough the day would come and go without them even knowing. That was until one year, one year that will forever live in my memory and bring tears to my eyes every time I think about it.
Just as the years before Christmas day came and went without a word. Tavian was five years old. It was a few days after Christmas and I can remember waiting in the cold for the bus to take me and the kids to the grocery store. When the bus came Tavian sat down and I sat across from him with his two little sisters. The bus driver turned around looked right at Tavian and said "So were you a good boy this year? What did Santa bring you?" I will never forget the look in his eyes when he turned and looked at me for the answer. He was confused and didn't know how to answer the mans question. I don't remember what I said to the bus driver that day but I will never forget the look in my son's eyes. It still brings a lump to my chest. After that day I promised that I would never let that happen again. I would never let my children go without.
Now I know that people always talk about the true meaning of Christmas and that it is not about getting presents, but you know what those same people have gifts under their tree to give to their children. They have a Christmas Tree.
The year following that Christmas was full of struggle and growth. We went from the shelter to a transitional housing program that provided us with a 3 bedroom house. We moved into that house in October 2003 just in time for Halloween. I have to say that because of the guilt I felt that Christmas was a little over done but the kids so deserved it. There was a program that donated us a real Christmas tree that they left for us on our front porch to surprise the kids. There were so many present under the tree that it took them hours to open them all. I've since scaled down our Christmas a little each year but just as I promised I will NEVER let my children go without for another Christmas.
I'll never lose the guilt of that day on the bus and I should of done something then but we can't go back and change the past so all I can do is continue to make our future the best it can be.
Merry Christmas to all of you!

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