Wonder if I should take down my Christmas tree and stockings? I’ve left them up because Mary would have. She loved Christmas and never got to enjoy her tree very much in December because of her work schedule so she would leave the tree up till Feb or longer. The tree has not lost any needles yet. Haven’t had any fires so the candy in the stockings hasn’t melted. There’s candy in Mary’s stocking. Her favorite little chocolate balls. If I take the tree down there will be a blank bare spot in the living room just like there is in my life. Think I’ll leave it up a little while longer. No one seems to mind.
Now that I’ve resigned myself not to worry about Julie’s divorce I have more time to think about Mary. Which is both good and bad. It takes forever to go to sleep at night even when I stay up long enough to fall asleep walking down the hall. When I hit the pillows my eyes open and I get lost in memories or anger or helplessness or frustration. Same with driving to and from work. It’s the quiet times that are the hardest.
I watch Julie and the kids interact and I remember all the mistakes I think I made when raising my kids. Oh, only if I had a chance to do it over again I would be such a better mom. Not that I was terrible, just didn’t have a clue what I was doing in the high school years with Julie, learned some lessons and changed with Mary and Danny. But didn’t really get most of it down until I had just Danny in high school. And, our lives weren’t exactly the norm with his heart troubles. But I did and do regret not giving the other two as much attention as I gave Danny. Hind sight is perfect I know but second sight is better.
I didn’t have my mom to go through adulthood with, no one to ask questions to, no one to get in the way of my perceived ideologies of raising children. I wonder with Julie and the kids living here if I am going to make the same mistakes I made with Julie when she was growing up. Am I going to smother her with opinions, stifle her personality with examples of how I think things should be? I don’t know how three generations of Walton’s managed to live together under one roof without getting on each other nerves. But then it was a TV show and they can re-write the scripts until they are picture perfect. I do love Julie so much and I don’t want her to make the same mistakes I made raising her. But then that’s what I said when she was growing up and I tried to not let her make mistakes. But, everyone has to make them otherwise you never learn. What, oh what and I going to do. Mary would know.
I know I sometimes sound like I think Mary was all wise and an expert in everything, like she’s my elder. It’s just that with our heads together we could merge our ideas and come out on top. We were braiding my thoughts, her thoughts and life and they all fit together. I had a hard time letting her go off to live her life too. People joke about apron strings but they are definitely there. But I promised myself I wouldn’t hang on too tight like I did with Julie. I am so sorry I did that to you, Julie. I want you and your kids to have a better relationship than we had. I think I loved you too hard and I think I’m doing it again. But I will try to catch my self when I can see it happening and stop. You need to make mistakes or at least what I perceive as mistakes, on your own. Maybe they aren’t mistakes at all. Maybe they are my own misguided ideas of how life should be. What do I know? Only that I love my family to the point of no return. And that’s a fault I need to deal with.