Friday, November 27, 2015
Today I am grateful for the truth about holidays. There are a lot of truths about holidays, including the hype often not meeting the actual experience; the wish to be with family overshadowed by grudges created 20 years ago; the proverbial drunken uncle; shocking illness; a bird that won’t get done; a bird that gets done three hours too early; a bird that no one likes; too much food, too many sweets, too many tears, too much exhaustion, too much noise, too much, too much. . . everything.
Then there is the sharing part. Sharing your grown children and grandchildren with their spouses parents. Ouch! You are stuck alone, without any children or grandchildren with you because those same kids you raised so well are doing the brave thing and telling you they are meeting the needs of their spouse this holiday. Ouch again! They are doing the right thing. You love and hate when they do that!
Damn! You curse yourself for raising them to be considerate of others feelings. Damn! You should have raised them to think only of you and your needs because that other way is going to come back at you one day (today) and bite you in the ass. Ouch!
This phenomenon is something to which my husband and I are all too familiar. We have held Thanksgiving on Saturdays, Christmas in January and Easter in June. We have witnessed their in-law families doing the same, each of us jockeying for precious time where neither wants to budge, but each always do. . .for the good of the collective family. We acquiesce. They acquiesce. Each decision leaves the other with the short stick to fill-the-day without kids and/or grandkids.
But not this year. This year our daughter Beth invited everyone to her house for Thanksgiving. Everyone. ALL of our kids and grandkids were under one roof, along with some awesome Brazilian friends experiencing their first Thanksgiving. Did you get that. ALL! Until our son’s wedding last March, we had not all been in the same place since my dad’s funeral 22 years ago. Now twice in one year? Pinch me! No, don’t! We all live so far away from each other, it might never happen again. I want to enjoy the bliss while I can.
Through the years we learned the hard way that you have to be where you are, you have to celebrate even if everyone isn’t there. You have to find joy even if you’ve lost someone or someone is terribly sick. And you have to let go. . .when your kids spend time someplace else. That is the tough part. . .and the real truth about holidays.
(The pictures are of the place cards I made with the granddaughters.)