Crazy time of year, eh? And we made it crazier by moving Christmas up a few days so as not to take all of the kids presents to Utah with us.
We are leaving in just a few hours to spend some time with friends and family. It was a last minute decision, requiring extra clothing and gear, minor car repairs, some shopping, and lots and lots of laundry. So, my apologies for being quiet.
Not that anyone really noticed I was gone, what with the running around and the shopping and the parties and the baking.
Tonight, R and L and I had an opportunity to visit a womens’ shelter near here. We took in Christmas cookies for the kids to decorate, played games, sang some carols, and served hot cocoa. We wrapped presents for the kids, and just spent a little time breaking up the monotony of the evening.
These women live in 10×10 cubbies with all of their kids, and the few possessions they own. Their privacy consists of a curtain in their doorway. The bathroom doors do not lock. There are 10-15 families in residence at any given time. These women generally have no education, no job skills, no family to turn to. and are fleeing violent relationships. One woman was in labor and trying to decide if she should go to the hospital or not.
They are safe. Their needs are met. But they have no clue what the future holds for them or their children. The children already recognize the impermanence of their lives, the transitions they will likely make every few months for years. Maybe forever. At 3, one little boy could already tell me that if I went, I would never come back. So I shouldn’t tell him I would.
And he’s probably right. Because even though I will go back, I probably won’t get there until January, and by then, his little family will have moved on. He already recognizes that, on some level, at 3.
So, I am grateful for what I have. I am happy for the stability my kids have, the joy we experience daily, the abundance that allows us to have a good Christmas every year, and to share that joy with others.
I’m working on getting grateful for a very long car trip to a very cold place in some very nasty weather. I really am trying.