It was a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend here, and I hope yours was the same. I wished my dear friend Debbie a happy Gobble-Tov, and she’s looking forward to using that again in 70,000 years.
We are a small nuclear family (which has always been a weird phrase to me; we are not ‘going’ nuclear because that would be bad, but we ‘are’ nuclear so that’s good. Language, you are a silly mistress.) and so our holidays are relaxed with no stress to speak of. In the very early stages of becoming a family, I remember we were obligated to enjoy three Thanksgiving meals on one day and show just as much appreciation for each one. It was blessed but it was also painful.
When you have children, you get to call the shots a bit because everything is measured by how good it is for baby’s routine and health and digestion and emotional well-being. But if you want to be the dutiful child, you pack up everything and an elephant to trek across the vast miles and Visit With Family, and then you get the fun and games of trying to recreate your safe home environment among someone else’s Lenox vases and glass coffee-tables all the while murmuring that it’s fine, you’re sure the baby doesn’t mind spending the entire day in the Pack And Play like a caged animal while you silently wish you could crawl in there with her.
When kids are older, it’s all about the cousins, because those are built-in playmates. Yes, we love Mom and Dad to pieces, but really it would be so much more FUN if we could play with our cousins. So there’s more trekking involved, though not with the Pack And Play this time, thank heavens, and it will be nice for the adults too. After all, everyone is pretty self-entertained these days, so there’s a chance to catch up on some football and family gossip and enjoy an adult beverage while surreptitiously checking out how they make THEIR stuffing and gravy. Then your kids become teenagers and nobody has any fun, because it’s all about keeping in touch with their real life, the school friends and everything around them, and secretly you’re glad because who wants to sit in traffic for all that time just to eat the same meal you would have fixed at home?
So now we have a very relaxing day. We eat sometime between four and five, we put out massive quantities of food that could surely feed 15 quite easily when there’s only five at our table (because it’s all about the leftovers), we enjoy as many adult beverages as we’d like because of no driving, we do parades and football and movie marathons, and there is no drama or tension.
Sometimes I’m wistful. I wish I’d had many brothers and sisters and that we’d all gather for holidays and my kids would have grown up being part of a huge family and it would be a big noisy happy mess. Then I look at the reality of many families who don’t get along, who don’t speak, who fight and argue and compete and have bigger issues and I know that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be and I realize once again that I am blessed.
Meanwhile, the December knitting marathon is ON and I have many gifts to complete.