This photo was taken at the airport last summer, while my family was waiting for my third-born's plane to arrive from Vietnam. My baby was almost home and I was beyond excited.
Deeply, profoundly, soul-wearyingly sad.
Tonight is the last night of the Christmas holiday. After a lovely two-week break, my real world of classes and schedules and lessons will resume tomorrow morning.
Which means, for me, tonight is the darkest night of the year.
Now, no doubt most of the world shares my melancholy. Surely we all would much rather spoil ourselves with another couple weeks of festivities than haul ourselves off to work.
But I might get a little lost in my malaise. Beyond the general gloom of the workaday week, I take my frettings to a metaphysical realm
I ponder the meanings of life and death.
I recall raw emotions from my childhood.
I grieve again for losses and sadnesses.
I feel an overwhelming fear that life will never measure up to its promise
And I worry that I will feel this sad for a long, long time.
Kind of depressing, right?
But at the time, I was also profoundly worried. My daughter was struggling with a mighty problem, and I overflowed with concern for her. And although her return flight to Asia was several months off, I dreaded her eventual departure and struggled to think I could ever send her off again.
However, after dealing with this back-to-school phenomenon every year of my life, I also know one thing for sure to be true:
This too shall pass.
But you can guess the end of this story. She dealt with her issues, strengthened her soul, and flew back to Vietnam with her confidence and courage intact. And in the end, it turns out that I was happy to let her go.
By tomorrow morning,
my eyes will blink open
my mind will turn to trinomials
my car will transport me to my students' homes
and my life will feel happy and rich and full once again.
Yep. I know these end-of-Christmas-break blues will last only for tonight, and I'll get through them just fine, as I always do.
But just for tonight, I feel sad.
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Celebrate the Twelve Days of Christmas with me!
The Ninth Day