Ruminations of a Red Dirt Hussy

November 19, 2011

‘Tis the season

Filed under: General — Vadasmaker @ 1:58 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Ah, the holiday season.  Starts at Halloween, ends with the last of the clearance sales in January. And by last, I mean the first in a long line of clearances that “last” till the next Halloween.

For years, I tried to ignore the season, but then  I married Mr. Tall, Blond, and Logical. TBL was covered up in family, and they liked each other. Or pretended to. There were no fistfights, anyway. A time or two I even convinced my family to drive lo, the many miles from Joplin to Tulsa. Those were good times.

Since my Brilliant Son (and by that I mean only son. Well, only child, but no less brilliant for that), married almost twenty years ago, there’s been an ongoing tension at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. Brilliant son, much-loved, beautiful daughter-in-law, and eventually, the lights of my life, Grandaughter 1 and Grandaughter 2, could only be in one place at one time. At least according to the laws of—who am I kidding. I don’t know the laws of anything. I’m a writer.

I vowed the day BS brought DIL home that I would never be that mother-in-law. I tried. Sometimes I failed. But I tried. I told them it was silly for them to run from one house to another to appease us all. DIL has a huge, raucous family, and he has—well, TBL and me. We got to see them enough to make us happy. Over the years we saw them less and less as they spent more and more holiday time with her family. Finally, two years ago, I summoned my courage and told my son I wanted one holiday, Christmas or Thanksgiving, it didn’t matter.

BS agreed, and the first Thanksgiving was wonderful. They came the day before, spent the weekend with us, visited her family. The second year, I prompted him with an email—Just wanted to know when to expect you. This time, I could tell he was reluctant, but he came. Spent time with us, with her family, left a little earlier than the first year, but I was so happy to see them that I didn’t care.

Fast forward to this year. I didn’t want to push him, but I guess I nudged him. I’m bad to nudge people. I emailed and asked if they would be here for Thanksgiving. I still don’t know. I know my son and his family love us, but I also know he likes to be where things are happening. And reader, any action around here is one cat chasing another. At the home of BDIL’s family, home, there’s a drama a minute. And that’s fine. They’re great people, just more lively than we.

Every other year when we’ve been in this position, I’ve spent Thanksgiving weekend heartsick, substituting pity party for family gathering. Not because I didn’t get to cook (God forbid. Anyway, TBL does all our cooking, all the time).

But this year, I’m not waiting, I’m not going to feel sorry for myself, and I’m damned sure not eating at the Marriott buffet. I’m cooking. Me. Not TBL. I’m inviting people, I’m cooking my butt off, and I’m giving thanks that I have a healthy, happy son, a wonderful daughter-in-law and two bright, healthy, well-adjusted granddaughters.

That’s what Thanksgiving is about. Not me, or the food, or who is or isn’t here. It’s about giving thanks for what I have, for the bounty I’ve been given. And I do.


1 Comment »

  1. Carol, I know exactly how you feel. My DD and SiL always have to work Thanksgiving, then SiL also comes from a large family that is doubled by divorce and reunions. so I end up just making sure we’re together for one meal around the holidays, regardless of what day our mealtime actually falls on, and tell myself if doesn’t matter. And usually it doesn’t. I’m pretty good about letting the busyness of my life and everyone else’s roll over me. It’s just when hubby whines or someone asks “what did you do for the holiday?” that I tense up and wish I didn’t have to worry about answering. Anytime you want to just chuck it and get a bunch of us “empty nester” couples together, we can meet at Delta Cafe or the Marriott and have ourselves a grand time.


    Comment by Left-Brained Business for Write-Brained People — November 19, 2011 @ 2:58 pm | Reply

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