My favorite parts of the holidays hearken back to the past. Sometimes I reach to my childhood and sometimes I go back to last year. This is the post I wrote in 2009 as I was waiting for the kids to arrive. Life was simple and my worries revolved around keeping G'ma safe and secure as she recovered from bi-lateral broken ankles. This year is a bit more complex, with emotional issues taking center stage at a once-again-family-only Thanksgiving dinner. I'll be busy prepping and shopping and wedding planning.... I'm going to be recycling posts and hugging my children.
Here's how I felt back then:
I've been thinking about family and friends, as The Cuters make their way to the desert southwest for a family-only Thanksgiving. They're at their respective airports hours early, as befits a TBG-spawned human, and if the weather holds out they'll arrive in Tucson within an hour of each other. The Little Cuter will be arriving first and promises to be hungry; I'm bringing pot roast and fresh baked bread so she can feast while we await her brother. TBG thinks I'm silly; I flash to Daddooooo meeting me at LaGuardia with a bag of bagels and oranges and Coca-Cola and some chocolate candies for himself. I'm smiling as I pack the snack sack.
C&B were planning to join us, as they have every year since we've been sharing a state. Alas and alack, medical issues have altered their plans; when did we get old enough to have our bodies get in the way of life? Of course, there was the Thanksgiving when TBG and my brother and I drove 350 miles over the river and through the woods from Chicago to Nannie and Grandpaw's house, stopping at every rest area so TBG could throw up. Stomach flu seems to haunt him in late November, which is a shame because Thanksgiving is his favorite holiday. But we still went on the trip; he was young enough and healthy enough to manage the inconvenience. C&B are dealing with more serious issues and we'll have to be thankful for having them in our lives from afar this year. Don't the sickness gods recognize that we have certain traditions that ought to be respected? Perhaps they didn't get the memo.
Last year our Minneapolis snow birds invited themselves to our celebration; it was nice to know that they felt comfortable enough to announce that they were invite-less and wanted to join us. He even volunteered to cook the turkey, since he'd done it at his own home forever and ever. We accepted her offer of brownies and let him make the gravy in exchange for putting two more chairs at the table.
Amster's kids are still too young to do a grown-up Thanksgiving. Though she laughingly asks them if they were raised by wolves, being the only children at a grown-up table would put stress on even the most well-behaved 4 and 6 year olds. She's taking them to a house with other kids and a heated pool and spa. That seems to be an exceptionally wise parenting maneuver.
The Bride's mom called this afternoon to wish us a happy holiday, and the answering machine bears R-Squared's hope that we enjoy our turkey. The mailbox delivered cards from Maryland and New Jersey and my email inbox is full of Thanksgiving cheer. We may be just the 5 of us, but we're certainly surrounded by a cloud of holiday love.
I'm basking in the glow of it all.