"Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action.”
~ W.J. Cameron
This year – for the first time – hubby and I are hosting my entire extended family for Thanksgiving Dinner. It’s long overdue that the younger generation took over the hosting duties. But the reality is that for the longest time none of us young-un’s have had a house that is big enough to hold everyone.
And while that is still the case for us…we are determined not to let that stop us. We will find a way to fit all 14 adults and 3 children into our small apartment. We will set up an extra table in the living room, sit at stools at the kitchen counter or even balance a plate on our lap.
And we will do that because where you sit isn’t important. No one really mind squishing together when it means having your entire family together for an evening.
No doubt one of the kids will complain about something or refuse to eat their brussel sprouts. No doubt my lovely Nanny will think it’s too hot (or too cold) and will want a cup of tea made for her right at the worst possible moment during the crunch time of dinner prep.
And we will all laugh at the kids aversion to brussel sprouts (because we remember what that was like) and one of us will make Nanny a cup of tea. And we will laugh…a lot.
Now my family – like so many others I am sure – has its share of dysfunction. Over the years there have been many disagreements between family members – some that have been resolved and some that haven’t. Some of these have directly involved me and others have been outside my control.
And this has been a great challenge for me because I like people to be happy. I like harmony and order. And I don’t like being caught in the middle….which is often where I find myself. Much to my chagrin.
And so recently – in the interest of self preservation perhaps – I have narrowed my focus to the needs of my own “little family” and have tried to make decisions that are in their best interest.
Because having kids has really made me realize the importance of family. It’s wonderful to have so many people around us that love and adore our girls just as much as we do. I truly marvel at the individual relationship each of my girls has formed with various aunts, uncles and cousins. They are all different…tailored to each person…they are all beautiful.
And watching my children forge these crucial relationships has also helped me see just how important they all are to me as well. No one in my family – including me – is perfect. But no pretends to be either. We simply are who we are.
And so this year I will be giving thanks for each and every one of them. For every wonderful trait, weird idiosyncrasy and annoying habit. And I can only hope they will do the same for me.