Thanksgiving Eve is also known as Drinksgiving in our house. We get together with friends and have a few glasses of wine or a cocktail and gripe about whatever floats our boat at that time. I may have over indulged in Drinksgiving a time or two. Literally a time or two and I cannot live it down! The problem is that usually on Thanksgiving morning we do the local Turkey Stuffer 5k with our Drinksgiving friends and one year I was not feeling it. I thought I might barf in someone’s yard. Later that day, I went all bulimia on myself and made myself ralph right before dinner and a rousing rendition of This Land is Your Land at my in-laws (seriously. I can’t make shit like that up). I even broke a blood vessel in my eye which my sister was quick to notice and point out and then laugh at when we got to my parents a few hours later. Reflecting back I would like to retract my “time or two” statement because really it was just that one time and we’ve been doing this for years. Anyway, tonight will be the annual Drinksgiving festivity. We will re-live the Turkey Stuffer fiasco of 2008…or was it 2009? Hilarity will ensue and for that I am thankful.
Drinksgiving isn’t the whole purpose of this post although I do really like it. The purpose was actually to write about Thankfulness. I know, I know, roll your eyes, I get it. These posts usually annoy the crap out of me when other people write them but it’s my blog and I don’t usually annoy myself so here we go… oh wait, one more thing…Thanksgiving is a bit of fiasco in our house. We typically go to my in-laws in the morning and then my parents in the afternoon. The in-laws include family members from afar that we see once a year so it’s not like we really spend time with the immediate in-laws (who I like) and instead I have to field questions from my mother-in-law’s cousins wife about when we are going to have kids. My therapists tells me it’s not healthy for me to be thinking up come backs in anticipation of her question but I can hardly help myself. They range from a simple retort like “shut your face!” to a polite “oh the time just hasn’t been right” to an inappropriate “well we’ve sure been practicing, haven’t we honey?? wink, wink”. Anyway, my therapist says I now need to do a mindfulness exercise… she’s probably right. Thanksgiving #1 at in-laws, Thanksgiving #2 my parents. This year we are doing Thursday with in-laws, Friday with my parents/sister. It will be better. Plus the in-law celebration is no longer a pot luck. You have no idea how great that is. The pot luck was nasty. Nasty, nasty food. I think I ate Turkey and mashed potatoes last year because I couldn’t ID who brought what in order to make good choices for the rest of the dishes.
I totally digress… This year I am particularly thankful for my parents and my parents in-law. My sibling and siblings-in-law are pretty great (I really am pretty damn lucky in that respect) but our parents are such a huge support in our life and gosh darn it, I just really like them. Here’s why:
My mom… My mom and I used to cook Thanksgiving dinner together. At least that’s how I remember it. Everything from making the grocery list to baking pies and figuring out the right time to put the turkey in. We are like bread and butter (two of our favorite things) in the kitchen. She goes left, I go right. It’s great. Since I got married we haven’t been able to do that because we split time. This year, splitting days has allowed us to go back to us cooking dinner. The difference is that it will be at my house and that she’s not going to be here to put the turkey in the oven and deal with all that nasty raw poultry but she says I can handle it. She might be right but I am not looking forward to yanking that neck out… gross. We’ve chatted nearly every day this week about what we are going to cook and who’s getting what. We leave my sister out of these talks as she’s not really on the same page with our cooking style. She’s all whole wheat and kale and we’re all butter, butter and more butter. In addition to being a fun kitchen buddy, my mom gets me. She just does and that’s the best part. .
My dad… my dad is the workhorse of all workhorses. My husband built a beautiful outdoor space for us this summer. By summer, I mean ALL summer… but it’s really an incredible space. My dad came and helped on this project weekend after weekend and the man (the 65 year old man at that) just works and works and works and works and works. You have to feed him every now and again but very rarely and he doesn’t take a long break to eat. Without his help, the project would still be going on. He also believes in my potential. He called me up a few months ago to tell me that he watched an interview with Sheryl Sandburg (Facebook lady who wrote Lean In) and that if anyone ever tells me I’m bossy to let them know I’m a leader. It was a very “we’re not gonna take it” phone call. Pretty cool, if you ask me. He knows that I get feedback from my bosses about being assertive and outspoken and his advice was loud and clear… keep doing what you’re doing and if they don’t like it, that’s there problem. He’s on my side 100%, no questions asked. Don’t worry, when I was a kid and got in trouble in school he rarely took my side… 🙂
My M-I-L… I spent a few hours with my MIL just chatting last night. Just the two of us. I stopped by her shop to get the real scoop on the Thanksgiving plan because it had been telephoned to me through my husband. We ended up just shooting the breeze. Like girlfriends. It was a very spontaneous conversation and everything from fertility to motherhood to working woman to faith was covered. We are very similar and I have fought this for years. I am finally starting to appreciate that being compared to her is actually a huge compliment.
My F-I-L… FIL is an older, more laid back version of my super laid back husband. He, too, was a huge help on our summer project. While I felt my day laborer needed to hurry up and spend less money, it was fun to see my dad, FIL and my husband outside working together. His presence is calming in a way that I can’t explain. He is so very thoughtful and insightful when given the chance. And kind. So very kind. He passed these qualities on to his son and for that I am so grateful.
My parents and parents-in-law are obviously the bees knees and I barely scratched the surface of their awesomeness. We have experienced a lifetime of awesomeness from these people and I know they would do anything for us, including gift us money for fertility treatments, if we asked (we got a bill requesting an $8500 prepayment for our IVF cycle so we just might ask). Their support both emotional and potentially financial will make this journey a little less lonely. They never know what to say or ask about and I don’t fault them for that, I don’t know what they should say either. They have never expressed the disappointment that I project onto them. All they have is love. So much unconditional love. We should all be so lucky.
Happy Thanksgiving… may you be surrounded by those that mean the most in your life and may your turkey be moist, your Riesling be dry and your pie crust be flaky. Cheers!