My Little Puzzle Pieces

I’m getting ready to pick up my daughter at the airport, and I am going to soak up this Christmas visit. I realize that I probably only have one Christmas left where both of my kids are home, without spouses that may or may not like me.

How many of you moms out there are missing kids that are spending the holidays with the spouses family this year? Or maybe they’re in the military or simply live too far away to get home? I would just like to tell each child out there that no matter how fiercely independent your mom is, she misses you.

Heck, without our kids we’re like a puzzle missing a couple of pieces. I used to date a guy whose mother loved to put together big, complicated jigsaw puzzles. I’ve never understood this compulsion, but she was amazing at it. His father would always grab 2-3 pieces at the very beginning of the effort, and a couple of months later when she was ready to finish the thousand piece, all white puzzle, she’d be short those pieces.

 He’d sneak up to the card table sometime in the early morning hours when everyone was asleep and pop them.  I thought that was hysterical.

Now I know how the mother felt, frantically looking for those pieces to make her experience complete. Yes, not to sound too “Jerry Maguire“, but my kids complete me. This sounds weird from the young woman in High School who vowed never to have children and to live in New York with a cat (I had seen a movie called “Absence of Malice” and wanted to be like Sally Field who was a writer that lived in an apartment with her cat).

 It’s not that I expect them to be around forever (no lectures on letting my kids go, please), and I have to admit that there are times I really enjoy having my independence back.

But when they’re around, and we’re all laughing and talking, life is good. I can breathe a little more easily. Of course I have really likable kids. A friend the other night said, “I don’t really like my children very much.” That’s okay too.  As George Carlin always said, you can pick your friends but you don’t get to pick your family.

Now I need to go pick up my errant puzzle piece. For your entertainment, here’s Jerry Maguire in one of my favorite scenes, in one of my favorite movies. Even though I find Tom Cruise a little frightening.