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It snowed in Texas this week – a flurry of white, briefly, that in the darkness of early evening, made our Christmas lights twinkle wildly. If my kids were young enough and natives of this state, they might have gone outside and played – but they grew up in New England, and deem themselves too cool for snowmen (at least in miniature).

While we won’t quite be empty-nesters, another will graduate this year: when he comes home next year in Winter, it won’t be full of homework and chores and threats of grounding because he’s terrorized his siblings – it will be – as it is with the other 2, celebratory. I’m trying to suss (like y’all, a great word not used much in Boston) what I’m feeling about this. Am I happy? Wistful? Angst-ridden? Is this sadness or a joyous revelation of sorts?

It has been different with each of them, and the first two have boomeranged for 3-6 months each since their first launch, so I’m likely seeing this through that lens too – ‘moved’ hasn’t actually been permanent for his siblings.

I seem to move all over the ‘feelings wheel’, only loosely based on actual events or recollections.

What’s the take-away then? That pinning down complex emotions is hard, perhaps? That the internal mush of feelings we have when change happens is normal – that seems palatable. I’ll add too, that while normally, I encourage people to share their feelings with the people who love them, I’m not feeling compelled to look (up) in my son’s eyes and tell him any of this. My experiencing of his ‘last’ Christmas as a member of this household is – for now anyways – mine to savor/dwell on alone.

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