A THOUSAND TINY STEPS

Let’s Trip the Light Fantastic

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Mommy, Gracie, Jack at the Sandy Hill Farm Winter Wonder Light Show in Eliot Maine.
Mommy, Gracie, Jack at the Sandy Hill Farm Winter Wonder Light Show in Eliot Maine.

I remember when the calendar turned from 2016 to 2017. 

In the aftermath of Molly’s sudden death holding on to 2016, a year during which she was alive, gave us the possibility that Molly somehow still existed, that she would come back. As difficult as 2016 is to remember, 2017 cuts deep. 

Those first three New Year’s Eve transitions were spent driving all night or flying home from Florida. I did not want to be connected to any holiday in any way. We traveled on Christmas as well. We had our holiday routine. Get out of Concord, go to Florida.

We had a bit of a hiccup during Covid, but the universe obliged and I spent the day driving eight hours to and from Down East Maine and Graice spent the night in the ER so all connection to Christmas disappeared. I was pregnant as well so there was that.

We were supposed to travel to Florida this year but the kitchen renovation and our wallets had other plans.

Once it was established that we were staying we cobbled together a holiday. All in all, it went well. Presents, family, matching pajama’s, The Polar Express, we did it all. The best part, though, was walking through two million colorful lights at Sandy Hill Farm in Eliot Maine.

It was a real live enchanted forest.

A well lit and clearly marked path wound through a meadow and some woods. There were trees wrapped in lights, gift boxes, hot air balloons and tunnels all made of lights. Flowing rivers, flowers, animals, igloos, trains, tractors, a lit up crescent moon. 

It was lovely.

Gracie and Kenny are very much in to starting and/or re-starting traditions. I shy away from this idea. In my never-ending fear of losing another child I somehow think it will be easier to navigate if there aren’t “yearly things” that I have to go through without them.   I do not want to put a life together that will blow up like my old life did. I do not have it in me.

But there is Jack.

Children function well with a balance of spontaneity and consistency. Traditions, family practices, events etc. are all a positive part of childhood. Returning to this light farm next year makes sense. For one thing, it is a blast, but more importantly, he will remember and build on it. A yearly sojourn to this magical forest will become a piece of his story.

We had a really good time. We walked, we danced, we sang. We took pictures. Jack was a total ham and drew quite a bit of attention to himself. Gracie took a million pictures and I took it all in. It is definitely something I will do again. 

It is the eve of New Years Eve and 2023 is about to end. My eighth “end of a calendar year” without Molly. I am not in a great place and after years of hiding it behind alcohol and then making believe it didn’t exist, I am just sitting with this this time around.

I am sad. I miss Molly. I have a nervous tummy.

Happy New Year.

One Response

  1. Oh Barb,
    You make me fall into your moment with you. I am just here wishing I could find an magic heart patch for you. I know the kitchen is a distraction and a bit of well uncomfortable right now. I want to honor your fragility and your commitment to peace. I love you and I am very grateful to know you and your journey.

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