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aren’t always under a tree nor gift-wrapped.

I had a pretty good Christmas, but two things stand out more than anything else.

The first was an unexpected gift from my oldest son (who is our third oldest).  While his girlfriend and her brother spent Christmas Eve & Christmas with us, we reminisced about different things.  It was during this he told me the happiest memories he has, was when Troy, him and I lived together in our apartment.

Wow!  It was affirmation, that maybe I didn’t do so bad of a job after all.  I know many mothers are hard on themselves, and I am definitely no exception.  I hold a high bar for myself on everything I do, and there have been many times of recent when I have taken the whole motherhood thing rather personally and beat myself up about it.  It was important for me to know that the decisions I had made for the three of us had been a good thing after all.

The second came from my father’s girlfriend.  I was 16ish, when he first asked her out on a date and now I am 50.  They have been together ever since and I believe part of their amazing success, is that they live separately.  You know those moments where you just need to get away, well they still have their own place to get away to, that belongs just to themself.

She is my Daphne.  I have no other word for her, as she was not a mother, nor step-mother, aunt, nor cousin…..she was just my Daphne.  She has been an inspiration in my life to see things a little differently.  To permit spirituality, without judgement.  She believed in me from the peripheral.  She’ll never understand what she has given to my life, and I probably can never convey it in words, but who I am today, is partially her doing.

On Christmas day, via the phone, she shared with me she had read my blog.  I heard the emotion in her voice and she was proud of me.  That was a gift, an amazing gift.

See, I wasn’t the studious one, nor the creative one.  As a matter of fact, by my early 20s, it’s my understanding most around me didn’t have much hope of what I could become.  I had to forge my own path, with my own beliefs.  I had no certificates, no stamps on the forehead and definitely no pats on the back to give me the drive to move forward.  It seemed to me I had more failures behind me, than successes in front of me, for most of my life.  The one thing I did have, was a belief in myself, even if at times it was misguided, I believed in me.  I could do anything I wanted well, if I put my mind to it.

So amongst all the things under the tree, I received two fantastic gifts this Christmas.  Affirmation, that ‘hey kid, you done good’.