I wrote the title first, intending to mull over some of the thoughts I am having about my son during this Christmas present.  Christmas past has moments that I hope that spirit doesn’t make me visit, even as the past threatens to reappear.  Times are different now, at least it seems so, with some healing and maturing mixed in with a tad bit of learning.  Yet, I am afraid.

My son is living with me again, during his holiday break.  He arrived a week ago, almost unannounced, called me during the afternoon and asked me if I was going to be home in three hours.  I was on my lunch break at work.  I told him that I needed to help my friend, Jim, move some furniture after work, would probably be home around six.  My son was coming home a few days early.  That wasn’t a big deal.  My place was already clean, with clean sheets ready for his bed, the closet in my spare bedroom cleared so that he would have plenty of room for his stuff during his month long break.

I should take a picture of his room right now and post it here….

He is SUCH a twenty year old male.  No staging was required.  I just snapped a few pics and ran for my life.  How in the world did he manage to mess up the blinds?  I really don’t know if any of his stuff has made it into the closet or the empty dresser.  The rest of the house has been up for grabs, with his clutter extending into the living space.  That has been minimal, his awareness from existing with me during Thanksgiving break giving him some much appreciated knowledge of what it’s like to live with his father.  I have had to clean up after him, but he is also making sure he keeps things a little straight.  It probably helps that I don’t harp at him.  He is still piggish, but not the rude boor of a child I knew a few years ago has diminished considerably.  I can take some clutter as long as he is considerate, which he has mostly accomplished.  As it was at Thanksgiving, he has honored quiet hours and lets me sleep, important since I get up at 5 each morning for work.

Yesterday was the second warmest Christmas day on record for Chicagoland, the balmiest since 1982.  Nate opted for sleeping in, skipped a butt crack of dawn ride with me, yet managed to use up every last drop of hot water for his shower while I was out two wheeled sleigh riding.  I had to take a brisk and icy cold shower after my ride.  Let’s just say it was a blue Christmas without you (hot water… doo doo doo doo doo).  Not only did I get a ride in sans layers, but Nate and I played a few sets of tennis outdoors.. in shorts.

Christmas pasts have not always been pleasant, especially since my liberation from the chains of matrimony.  Nate had a major breakdown a few years ago, and it has been a challenge since.  Last year was good.  This year was good, except, well, he reacted poorly to my lady friend being with me Christmas afternoon, slammed the door to his bedroom.. twice.  She left rather than create further conflict and was pretty upset about the disrespect he demonstrated — which is characteristic of Christmases past.  He emerged after she left, acted like nothing happened, denied that he was upset at all when I confronted him about it.

Baby steps.  We survived and proved that we have learned a few things.  I am just hoping my condo survives the next few weeks of exposure.