The past year of my life has contained more than its fair share of sorrow. Like most lives, happiness and joy were there too, but those were not the dominant flavors. Too much of the year was like a gruel I wish I could forget—an enormous swill of a stew with fear and misery stuck to the sides like week-old oatmeal. Thick, unappealing, and nauseating.
We put up our tree last week, and it's beautiful. It's fake and petite and 90 percent of the ornaments are at the bottom, reflecting the height of my children (its chief decorators). It's a perfect Christmas tree shape, which is what you get from a plastic tree.
I've spent a lot of time as a mother noting my children's milestones. Oh, I think: he's climbing up that ladder unassisted. That never happened before! Or oh, how about that—she just listened to song lyrics, extrapolated their meaning, and ask a relevant question about them!
Tonight, I sat across from my husband in a restaurant. This past year has been very difficult for both of us, and has been its own sort of milestone, for many of the weighty and immense reasons that make adulthood complex.