I Wish...... (Hey Santa! Are you listening?)

This year, our immediate and extended family arrived from all over the US, to celebrate Christmas at what we call "The Family Compound" in Texas. My husband and his siblings all live next door to each other. This is a recent development in our lives (within the last three years). Yes, I have much to say about the fantasy and reality of living next door to your spouse's family that is worthy of a blog post, I'm sure. One will be forthcoming when I feel I can divorce myself (figuratively) a bit more from it a bit ha ha..


For me, this holiday is a little more special than usual. My daughter, who lives on the east coast, doesn't get to come to Texas that often. We are retired so we usually go see her. This year, she flew out and brought her boyfriend (do we still call them boyfriends?) of two plus years with her, to see our home for the first time.  We love him and think they are a great match and hope they decide to formalize their relationship at some point. 


Like many parents, I was far from a perfect one. We did our best and I think we raised two great kids, who are successful in their professions and in life in general. They are independent, both own homes, and have common sense about money and life. Unfortunately, they had no interest in having a relationship with each other. This was one of my greatest sadnesses and secret failures. I always emphasized the importance of family with them while they were growing up and we did everything as a family. However, they were very competitive individuals, which I'm sure contributed to the distance they manifested between them.  They are both in professions which are vaguely similar, went to the same college, so you'd think they have some common ground. 


Like many moms, I tried to work both of them, telling them how sad it made me that they didn't have a relationship, other than the congratulations when something great happened in their lives or the happy birthday text. It was just so frustrating and sad to me.  I could see who needed to do what to improve this situation.  But what I hated the most, was that I could do nothing to help. It was completely out of my control. Other than lamenting to them or cajoling them to fix it, I could do nothing. 


Well.... that's not quite true.... I could do one thing. I could ask Santa for things between them to be better, for them to be closer. So that is what I did.. 


It's interesting how life works. My son had children and it changed him a bit. Anyone with kids will respond to that: "How could it not?" You do a lot of reflecting when you have kids. His oldest daughter is five, so they spend a lot of time playing games and doing stuff together.


The first surprise for the holiday season came very early. After my son and his family moved into their new home over the summer, he and his wife decided to invite his sister to stay overnight when she and her boyfriend arrived in Texas for Christmas. He offered to pick them up at the airport, take them home to spend the night and we would go pick them up the next day. I cannot express how happy this made me. It looked like an olive branch. 


Then, of course, I became anxious because what if it was awkward? What if they had nothing to say to each other? What if......? You know the drill, how I get.  But in any case, it was happening, and I had no control over it.  It was a GOOD thing, too.


Somewhere between this invitation and my daughter's arrival this week, my son decided to finally dig through the plastic bins of childhood toys that we had given him when he moved into his first home, ten years ago.  He hadn't even looked at what we gave him before this point. He just took the bins and stored them. Maybe he was curious, or maybe he thought his daughter was old enough to play with what was in them.  What he found was his Lego sets. He had a lot of Lego sets growing up and loved building them. There were bins of them. Ten years ago, he was annoyed in having to store them and gave them no further thought, really, until recently. When we moved and had to get rid of them, I just couldn't let them get donated or sold. I had a feeling he'd want them someday so I made sure he got them and hoped he would keep them.


I found out about his new interest in those bins when I got a text from my daughter-in-law telling me that he was building his old Lego old with our granddaughter. He became really focused on this and had a whole system in place. Each set had its own plastic closable bag, a slip of paper listing what pieces were missing and the insert that came with the set.  He also had a computerized list of his missing pieces and could calculate how much it would cost to acquire the missing pieces. There must be websites for this purpose.  Much time has been spent on this project. 


One day I got a rare text from my son (his wife is the main communicator), asking me if we might have some of those missing pieces in a stray, unopened moving box somewhere. I told him that I would check, but it was more than likely his sister might have some of those missing pieces because she had a few Lego sets, too. I told him to contact her and ask. I had little hope that he would.


And so he did... And she responded.... And they texted more about Legos over the next several weeks. It was the most communication they had with each other in the last ten years. 


Then I get a text from her telling me she has dragged out her Legos and was building her sets to see what she was missing. 


When I opened the ornament box with our Christmas decorations, I laughed, because in that box, was the Lego Christmas angel my daughter had put together from various Lego pieces to hang on our tree. I put it aside to be reunited with the other Legos they had. 


The other day, my daughter arrived in Texas with six pounds of Legos in her luggage, so that she and her brother could sort through them to see if she had some of his Legos or if he had any of her Legos. I've named this event "The Lego Prisoner Exchange." After we arrived at my son's home to pick up my daughter and her boyfriend, we spent a lovely afternoon there sorting through Legos trying to complete sets from lists of missing pieces. It was like doing a jigsaw puzzle, only cooler. 


My son and daughter chatted like no time at all had passed in the last ten years. She told me they spoke non-stop on the way from the airport. And it was very clear they were comfortable with each other. 


It was a lovely afternoon of my granddaughter begging her aunt to play with her and ended with a lovely dinner my daughter-in-law prepared. For the first time in many years, I had my entire immediate family, and only my immediate family, around a table for a meal, and my children had grown closer over something as simple as a toy. 


And because this is a blog about weight loss, I had pulled pork tacos, tortillas, tortilla chips, guacamole, wine, tuxedo cake, and munched on snacks while hunting for Legos. It's the holiday people... the diet will be there when the holidays are over. I was celebrating and it was a happy day in our family. 


In case it isn't obvious, I think what I want you to get from this post is that you should never give up hope. It took me over 30 years to get to a place where I could lose a significant amount of weight. It has taken 15 years for my children to find some common ground to forge an adult relationship. 'Miracles' do happen. Just ask Santa...


(photo courtesy of Karolina Grabowska)


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7th Decade Redhead
7th Decade Redhead

I'm 60+ years old female retiree who is finally figuring out why she's been struggling with losing weight her whole life. I want to share the lessons I learned so others can help themselves with their own weight loss struggles earlier in their lives.

60 Pounds by 60 Years
60 Pounds by 60 Years

My final weight loss attempt after 40 years of different diet failures. No shakes, no supplements, no surgery, no crazy food, no purchased meal plans, no fasting. Creating a healthier relationship with food and facing the painful truth about my relationship surrounding food. No BS, just common sense. And it worked.

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