You’d think that after seven thanksgivings we’d get the hang of this.
Growing up, holidays were always days to spend with family. Coming from a broken family, my days were quartered and itineraried in order to be fair and I got used to that. When Jordan and I started dating, that didn’t change and we would spend some of the day together at a particular gathering, part ways then come together again that evening. It was hard. Sacrificing time was not something I was accustomed to. I thought we would work out the kinks as time went on.
Well, 8 years later, married, we are still struggling to devote our time fairly. And now there’s a deeper feeling of obligation swelling as the years pass. This is going to sound dark but the best thing about my real father going off to do his own thing is that we don’t have to make someone else unhappy when the holidays come around. I look forward to this time of year, every year, but then I cry (every year) because there’s so much expected of us. It makes it difficult to enjoy these days with my husband.
This year was specifically difficult. We skipped breakfast at Pop Solwold’s for the first time since our relationship started and had breakfast with my parents because we would have to skip lunch with my family for the first time since our relationship started because we needed to be with his grandmother for lunch this year, her first thanksgiving without pawpaw. Next year mom says she will start hosting a thanksgiving dinner to make things easier for us. I love her. Nana didn’t seem to like that idea when I told her at lunch last Sunday. But that means we won’t be able to make it to the antique auction on the side of a road in Argo we’ve been going to with his parents that evening for the last couple of years. See how hard this is? That’s a really cool tradition.
This morning, after stuffing our bellies with a perfectly executed breakfast time, we watched Santa make an appearance in the 90th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. I cried a little at how happy he looked, especially when he smooched Mrs. Claus in front of millions and millions of people. For a moment I felt confident in these days and in this life. It may have just been the mimosas.