I feel like a toddler on the very first day of pre-school. The moment that you arrive to that building where all those other people are and you know that something is up. That something is a little off kilter and that you're about to be "alone", in a building full of strangers, and away from the safe people you know.
Only, today, I was the person driving to the building full of people, dropping off my mother at the airport. I kissed her goodbye quickly, got her coat out of the car, and wished her a safe flight. For a moment I was surprised at how calm I was. At how unemotional I was being. I got back into the car quickly, to avoid even more damp clothing and drove away. I didn't look in the rear view mirror.
I reached toward the volume knob in the car and there was the Christmas music that I loved. The feeling of grief came over me like an unexpected wave hits a body in the ocean. I held back tears and tried to find a song which would stir up any other emotion. I couldn't find one.
The truth is that my mom kind of IS Christmas. She makes it beautiful. She makes it warm, cozy, and fun. And she's going to be hundreds of miles away from me for it, for the first time ever.
And I will be at circle time in a room full of my fiancé's relatives experiencing my favorite holiday with all the kids that know each other from play groups. I'm the new kid.