Thursday, November 24, 2011

We Give Thanks

 It's long overdue but I feel that I have to change Meatball's blog name to Little Bear, not only to correspond with Musical Daddy but because he is SO not a meatball anymore. He is tall and slender and very handsome. Ender is a little meatball but I'm going to keep calling him Ender, so as to avoid confusion.

Again I find myself doing two days' worth of "thankful" posts in one day. I definitely had last night's post in my head but, as per usual, collapsed before the text made it into cyberspace.

Last night's concept came to my head as I was beginning to make the Thanksgiving feast. I'm thankful that, because of our situation in staying with my parents, we are able to have a feast. At this point, were we on our own and paying rent or mortgage and other bills, we'd probably be able to do something for Thanksgiving since we do have income these days...but not like the spread we were planning for today. That's my parents providing the tools and me making it into a meal.

Saying it in a different way, I'm thankful for the plenty. I know that despite whatever happens, we are very privileged and very lucky, and the fact that my parents include us unconditionally is a blessing for the children and for us.

I do the bulk of the festive cooking around here. I do the bulk of the regular cooking around here, too, but events are really my thing. I love being able to cook for a full dining room.

Our menu included chicken soup with mom's matzoballs, homemade challah, cornbread, turkey, prime rib (that's my mom's favorite), mashed red potatoes, stuffing (made by mom), sweet potatoes (also made by mom), green beans and garlic (which were actually made by an awesome friend who came by to help), asparagus, and a token salad. Dessert was pumpkin pie (made using the pumpkin insides that were frozen from Halloween), cherry cobbler (with pie was supposed to be pie, but due to oven mismanagement it was baking while we ate and I don't like warm cherry pie but I like wasting pie crust even less), fruit kebabs (which our buddy made with The Boy helping), and fruit ice.

I took no pictures. I watched no football. I did catch some of a movie about Gilbert and Sullivan earlier in the day. I was BUSY.

I think this came up earlier in the month, this sense of being overwhelmed yet not feeling upset by it because I knew I had support from everyone else. I felt that way today--there was a LOT to be done, but I knew that I could finish what I needed and I knew that the other people in the house could do what they needed to do. At no point did I feel the need to yell, "You ungrateful SOB's sitting around on your cans while I slave away in this kitchen making a meal that you'll probably take 5 minutes to eat!" I can't promise that I won't say that 10 years from now, but I felt no need. The fact is, everyone was working. With three little children in the house, supervision is needed for them, and that's a job too. My father did a lot of dishes and chased children. My husband spent more time with children over the course of the evening and is now doing dishes. He is very diligent when it comes to cleaning up after meals--he won't leave dishes in the sink or on the table. They get done when they are supposed to get done.

There was no stress, no hurt feelings. At least from my perspective.

Our guests were wonderful. Aside from our awesome singing friend who came to help and unfortunately couldn't stay too long, we had a friend of The Boy from school along with her family, and a teacher and her husband. Little Bear made a point to tell me before bed that he likes both the friend and the teacher.

Thanksgiving is a funny time of the year for us. And ever since it became so, I've always reflected like this, both to catch up any new readers and just to put into words all that I'm feeling. For 3 years, I hosted it at our home in New Jersey, the last year of which we had The Boy and he was a baby. I was supposed to host it a fourth year, as Thanksgiving in my house was my thing, but that was the year of the diagnosis and treatment for The Boy, for those keeping track of the numbers. So that year, I made the meal, but we ate it in the hospital. And then we all got a virus, first The Boy, and then the rest of us, and the leftovers never got eaten.

The following year's Thanksgiving feast was prepared at my parents' house, now my home as well, by my sisters. That was two years ago, when my mother and I were in the middle of releasing The Boy from the hospital in New Jersey, along with Little Bear, and moving us from there to here. We drove all day. Musical Daddy was ahead of us, although he was supposed to have been behind us were it not for the surprise hospital admission. All of our things were already moved in thanks to Musical Daddy and some friends and helpers.

I love having this blog because I can go back and read exactly what was going through my head earlier on. This was the night before we left and I'm sure that I linked to this entry last year as well. The only thing that still stings a bit was my naive notion that I could take my career and move it elsewhere. It's been a VERY slow process even attempting to do that. I didn't know I'd have another baby when I wrote that. I did know I was having another baby last year at this time, but I wasn't sharing that information yet.

With all that said, I'm thankful for a wonderful feast, wonderful company, fantastic food, good health, three gorgeous children, and the second Thanksgiving in a row that didn't involve a hospital visit.

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