It’s 7:35 AM on Christmas morning; I’m up and have been for over an hour.
We drove 1 ½ hour to visit my father-in-law on Christmas Eve. Both of my wife’s sisters were there, along with one’s fiancé. The pre-dinner treats were delicious and the bone-in rib roast with vegetables was very tasty. My wife brought gluten-free dinner rolls that melted in your mouth.
My father-in-law made sure presents were exchanged as soon as everyone arrived.
We arrived back home a little after 11 PM last night. Our beagle was howling her approval of our return from the fenced-in backyard. She greeted us at the front door by the time we got out of the car. She loves all of us but especially misses my wife whenever she is gone for more than a minute.
Did I say she misses my wife?
It’s more like an obsession. Keeping track of my wife’s whereabouts is a full-time job for our beagle. As a rescue dog, she had a rough life during her first five years. She was hit by a car and her owner refused to get her. After her recovery, we met her at the ASPCA and fell in love.
My wife was up shortly after me.
She got her coffee, put on her jacket and gloves, and retired to the back deck. After she filled her lungs, she came back inside. We helped Santa fill the stockings with care. Now we are spending time together, enjoying the calm. Our dog has positioned herself on her dog bed in front of the woodstove. From there, she can survey all the actions. Until there is action, she is taking a little nap.
As usual, I am skirting around how I am feeling this morning.
I am good at reporting the facts. Who is doing what? How are they doing it? When will they be done doing it? All of this is easy to report. However, letting anyone know how I feel about it is another story.
I am very guarded with my feelings.
Even on this Christmas morning, I am not exactly open to expression. I wish I understood it better. This is the next area I need to address. When I put my mind to something, I have a remarkably high success rate in figuring things out. So, I am confident that I can understand my feelings once I know more about them.
But for now, I’m not even aware of many of my feelings. They are what they are. I do not feel that I feel much of anything. And while I sometimes wish that I was more open and more touchy, feely, I mostly hide my true feeling even from myself.
The anticipation of Christmas morning without small children is muted.
Once my grandson gets a bit older, I see Christmas taking on a life of its own. The chance to share future Christmas’s with my grandchild, and grandchildren someday, does make me happy. So, there is that! I am happy when I think of my grandchild, and when I think of all my children have accomplished. I am happy about my wife and my home. So, what keeps me from expressing my happiness?
Why do I keep my emotions shielded?
Soon, I will need to “put on a happy face” as we see what Santa has left under the tree. I have already prepared my “oh isn’t that lovely” face. My approval face is poised for action. But under that, my true emotions are locked away so that even I cannot access them easily.
I think I hear my daughter heading to the kitchen for coffee.
The show is about to begin. I know Christmas morning will be unwrapped and I will be a part of it. I will dutifully report on the actions each of us takes. However, sharing how I feel about them should not be expected.