#tbt to Christmas Day 1998, Key West, Florida, USA
This picture is especially important to me because of the great memories of my Uncle Jim and one of my best Christmas’ ever.
But, why ‘Mom on the Edge’? Well that is a funny story and it begins- Once upon a time… in a suburban home in 01810, lived a family of four; a mom, a dad, a son, and a daughter. Every year Mom, my mom, made the Christmas magic for her family. Stockings were filled and hung, the tree was trimmed, the lawn was decorated with Christmas cheer, cookies and pecan rolls were baked, gifts were purchased and wrapped, and Christmas dinner was made. Our home was festive because of Mom. I’m not saying Dad did nothing, but this is a story about Mom and moms on the edge.
Yeah, yeah, you still don’t know why we are in Key West for Christmas 1998. Wait for it! SO…a few weeks before Christmas 1997, the daughter (that’s me) was upstairs in her room and heard a very loud BANG and a shout from Mom, “Just leave it!” What followed was a fleeing brother and Dad upstairs to their respective rooms with doors shut tight. I cautiously made my way downstairs into the family room. What I found was a crooked Christmas tree in it’s stand, bare save for a half of a string of lights wound around the top and Mom sitting in the high-back chair sipping a glass of wine. I casually sat down in the couch across from her and asked, “soooo, what’s up?”
To which Mom replied, “I’m tired of making the magic of Christmas.”
Pause. Sip. Another Sip. “Let’s go to Key West next year for Christmas. No tree, no dinner, no gifts. Just Key West.”
With the wide-eyes of a stunned teenager I replied, “Yes. Yes, let’s go to Key West.”
What I didn’t know at the time is that I was first hand experiencing my mom slipping off the edge. But it wasn’t a bad thing! She let go of a bit of control, let the ornaments (as it were) fall for that year, and decided to do what would make her happy. And in the end it made us all happy. Christmas 1997 wasn’t a total disaster, but Christmas 1998 was the most memorable of them all.
Lessons Learned: If you feel like you may be a “Mom on the Edge”, take a breath, slip, and let go of the control. At times you just need to do what makes you happy. And who knows it may lead to great things.
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed my story. I enjoyed writing it.
Open book on my Kindle today: “Boy Toy” by Sarina Bowen & Tanya Eby