The other day, as I was driving along listening to the radio as I ran all the many many errands that tend to fill my afternoons, a minor miracle happened.
One of my favorite Christmas songs is "I'll Be Home For Christmas." As much as I love it, however, it's a song that has always been mixed with sorrow for me. Which, really, makes sense. It's a wistful song. For me, listening to it has always made me long for the holidays of Yore, back in West Africa with my parents and all the family traditions and joy of that time of year. This has been true ever since I was in college. Even when I was swept up into my former in-laws' family and welcomed into their homes for the holidays (as well as other times, of course, but you know what I mean) long before I even became an official in-law, even when I was married and forming new traditions--I always longed for Christmas at Home.
I realize now that this is because I had not truly formed a new Home with The Ex, all those many years.
So normally that song would make me think of years long ago, in another time, another place. The other day, however, when I heard that song, I had a completely different response than I've ever had before. Instead of thinking of West Africa and holidays of decades past, my first thought was of my Home with MTL and our children. I pictured our living room with a Christmas tree in the corner, the children opening the presents we've gotten for them, and me snuggling on the couch with My True Love watching it all with joy and delight.
It's a new era for me. I truly have a Home, and it's Here and Now rather than There and Then. And that's where I'll be for Christmas.