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Mom: As your kids age, don't think of future Christmases with dread

Lately, I’ve read a number of mom blogs that talk about savoring Christmas — particularly when your children are little. I agree. There is something truly magical about the Santa Claus years. The last post I read, though, struck a nerve a little when its author dramatically exclaimed that “you are only guaranteed 18 Christmases with your children.”

I understand the sentiment. I really do, but I think we can unwittingly bring ourselves sadness at a time that should be joyful when we think that way. We can put pressure on ourselves to make everything perfect when we lament the future. The truth is, we don't really know how many Christmases we have with our children. Things do change and seasons of life will come and go. Each season has its own joy.

I am the mom of a college student. This is the first of many Christmases where my boy doesn't live at home full time. I am excited about that first hug when he walks in the door. I’m looking forward to almost a month of waking up with both of my boys at home. This is my season. While it doesn't have the same magic contained in the Santa Claus years, make no mistake, it does contain magic. My boy is becoming a man and I get to witness it. Our relationship is changing and I get to see some of the results of this thing called parenting.

So this Christmas, I am looking forward to different things. I look forward to late night Waffle House runs, where we can just sit and talk. I’m looking forward to meeting for lunch and hearing all about college life. I’m looking forward to a house full of boys coming in and out as his friends spend a bit of their holidays with us. I’m looking forward to hearing laughter between my two boys as brothers who have always been best friends find themselves together again.

Eventually, both of my sons will marry and there will be another woman in their hearts and mine. And yes, that will mean sharing. Sharing holidays and taking turns. The boys may move across the country for work and there may be a time when the most convenient time for us to celebrate Christmas as a family is on the 24th or 26th or even New Year’s Day. The date and time of celebration really doesn't matter. Maybe instead of coming home, we all go to one of their houses. That is another season. In it, there will be joyful times.

So yes, moms of young children, savor this Christmas, but when you think of the future, don't think of it with dread. You will fondly remember the days when your children were little and  some days you will miss those times.

Each day you will make new memories though and in each season you will find things that make your heart sing.