Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Posts Tagged ‘Christmas Day

Home sick for Christmas

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I get homesick at Christmas.  It feels strange to say that, because our motto is that “Home” is where we are all together.  Each different place we’ve lived together has been our home, and every future one will be too.  So I call here Home the rest of the year.  I’m not expected to get homesick in a place I call home, where I’m a citizen, and own property, where people (mostly) speak the same language, and has many cultural similarities.  There is just enough the same to make it feel really different.  When we’re serving at a post, I don’t feel like a foreign-born spouse.  When we have a domestic assignment, I really do.

There is something about Christmas that makes me yearn for England, and my family and friends there.  I’ve only spent one Christmas in England during the last seven years, so perhaps that adds to the nostalgia.  I’m probably homesick for a Christmas that doesn’t even exist any more.  My parents no longer live in the house, nor the area where I grew up.  My brothers have their own families now, and my friends are all grown up too, with their own commitments and schedules.  I think when you live at a distance, your mind can play tricks, and you convince yourself that the place you can’t be is a perfect paradise.  If you were only there, everything would be just as it is supposed to be.  Fortunately, I only get like this at this time of year, and the rest of the time I immerse myself in my surroundings.  I’d be pretty insufferable otherwise.

There was no way to go to England this year again, and probably not next year either.  For our family, the tradition is now to spend Christmas with just the four of us.  I’m acutely aware that the way that we celebrate now will be the memories that make our kids nostalgic some day.  I’ve tried hard to get into the spirit for this reason, and to encourage Pudding and Cubby to do the same.  For the first time this year, I felt like Pudding “got it.”  We’d played with her nativity set.  We’d read stories.  She’d helped me to put our ornaments on the tree, and when we finished, she informed me that the presents would do right here (under the tree) and Santa would bring them.  We’d attended her school Christmas party, and her delight and excitement was contagious.  We made plans to spend a festive day with friends on Christmas Eve, followed by a cosy day at home by ourselves.

When she woke up on Christmas Eve, she refused food and drink.  As Pudding is almost always in a whirl of hyperactivity, this was our first clue that she was ill.  She had a fever.  Her temperature came down with medication, and she had no other signs of illness, so we continued with our plans, and she was fine, though a little subdued.  We waited for her to get better or worse, but she stayed pretty much the same.  She went to bed, smiling as we told her that Santa would come in the night.

Pudding woke up even earlier than usual on Christmas Day, chattering away to herself until Daddy went in to see her.  Instead of coming in to cuddle with me as she does every morning, she stood rattling the gate and pleading to go downstairs. She was thrilled with her presents, but not long after breakfast she asked to lie down on the sofa with me.  As the day wore on, she looked more out of sorts, until she fell asleep.  After about an hour, she woke up, was violently sick, then went to bed.

For the first time ever, we took down the decorations on Christmas Day.  I just wanted Christmas to be over this year.  Even the Christmas Tree came down, and everything was packed away for another year.  Like Pudding’s illness, my homesickness has abated now too.  I’ve packed that up, hopefully it won’t come out again for another year.  It is time for everything to return to our version of normal, whatever that is.

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Written by Spectrummy Mummy

December 27, 2010 at 6:59 am