Countdown to Christmas
December 21, 2005|Posted in: Uncategorized
I get giddy around the holidays. I already blogged this, so hit the snooze button now and move on. But I just love Christmas. (Lather, rinse, repeat…) Did I mention that I love Christmas?
We have been shopping and bustling and baking and decorating. We’re having about three different Christmases, if not more, as kids come and go to and from various houses. It is weird not to have one Christmas Eve and one Christmas Day with everyone you know and love all together in one house. But this is more like the Twelve Days of Christmas, I suppose. I’m trying to like it, even if there are moments of sadness, because I won’t have my kids this year from noon Dec. 24 though New Year’s.
Another thing that’s been going on is that my eldest daughter, Mia, is leaving for London Jan. 3. There is some hustle-bustle around her packing and getting ready to go (and check-writing, too, I might add). I realized a couple of days ago that I have been working very hard at making the perfect Christmas because I feel like my family is splitting apart (again). She’s going to England, then plans to settle back on the East Coast to finish school and audition for shows. In other words, 13 days from now, my daughter is gone. Like, flown from the nest forever.
That explains a lot about Christmas meltdowns. The past two years or so she has been on her own, but just 50 miles away, still easily reachable. She is able to come down, or I to go up (sometimes just to bop into her Starbucks for a cup of coffee and say hello). She has been near enough that my parents could help her or see her or feed her, that my sister or my other friends could run into her casually at Red Lobster or the mall or the bank. That is not to be in less than two weeks. Those days are over.
That’s quite a revelation. I’ve been parenting since I was about her age — she’s almost 21, and I had her when I was just days into 22.
Can I just say, I love my Mia, and I’m really going to miss her.
Those of you who have seen her dance, or sing and perform onstage with ACLO or SRJC or just be goofy and hang out with the rest of us, you know what I mean. She’s adorable and funny and very kind, and she likes to read chick lit and go shopping and have fun. She’s a girl’s girl and a terrific big sister. I know my other daughters are going to miss her, too.
So of course I have to go see her in England. We’re tentatively planning a trip to see her, somehow, around Easter. I’ll be posting more on that as details firm up. If you have frinds and relations in England or environs, please let me know. I want to make sure she has people to call on if she needs a helping hand. Or any advice for starving students on work visas, either.
In other news, I’m dreadfully behind in Red Hills stuff (only about 5 weeks late so far). I’m going to be temporarily sitting in the Alameda Sun editor’s chair while we train someone else to fill it. That will be for a month or so. I’m picking up clients with my new PR business and that is starting to grow already. And I am working to do some editing at The Music Scene with publisher/pirate John Blakemore. More cool stuff to come! Like the reworking of my new book and publishing my poetry collection (only 6 months late!) and seeking out an agent and actively remarketing my first novel, etc.
In my spare time, ha!
Advice to Aspiring Writers: Get ready to make a plan for the new year. Put on thinking cap!
Julia Park Tracey is an award-winning journalist, author, and blogger. She is the author of six books: three novels, one poetry collection, and two women's history. She was the Poet Laureate of Alameda, California, in 2014-17. She's also the conservatrix of The Doris Diaries, the diaries of her great-aunt Doris Bailey Murphy. She has a BA in journalism from San Francisco State University, and MA in Early 20th C. British Literature from Cal State Hayward. Julia's articles have appeared on Salon, Thrillist, Paste, Scary Mommy, Narratively, Yahoo News, Your Tango, and Sweatpants & Coffee. Her articles have also run in Redbook, Woman's Day, Country Living, House Beautiful, Town & Country, the San Francisco Chronicle, Oakland Magazine, Quill, and MadeLocal. She was the founding editor of weekly Alameda Sun and literary zine Red Hills Review. Her poetry has been in The East Bay Literary review, Postcard Poems, Americus Review, Cicada, Tiferet Review, and many others. Julia has been recognized several times by the San Francisco, East Bay and Peninsula Press Clubs as well as the California Newspaper Association for her blogging since 2003.