Monday, November 26, 2012
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It is far more significant than Christmas simply because there is no gift giving, no influence of who got what, no distraction. There is only cooking, eating, drinking, talking, hugging, laughing, playing, reminiscing, togetherness.
This year, as Rob and I transform our lives from living in one place to living on the road, it was of great import that we gather all our children, their husbands (or significant others), and our grandchildren together for Thanksgiving. We decided that it had to be just us. It was essential to have our nuclear family to ourselves, interacting with just each other, sons-in-law becoming better acquainted with their sisters-in-law and their husbands, our grandchildren learning who their cousins are—especially because they live so far from each other—continuing to create the common history and memories that are ours and ours alone. We don't know when we will have the opportunity again.
We are a blended family. Our lives became intermeshed when Rob and I decided to marry in 1986. We forced our children together. Rob and I let our daughters know from the beginning that they were equal, that we were a family—for better or worse. Sometimes there was resentment, occasional hostility, and misunderstandings as there is in any family, but the dynamics within a blended family make those emotions potentially more explosive. We had some tough times but we made it through, and we are grateful that, when our daughters grew up, they came to realize that we did the best we could and how difficult it was to put these two families together, especially under the conditions that we did (but that's another story), and succeed where so many blended families fail. We never allowed any of the girls to pit us against the other. We stayed united and that translated into a gift of security and continuity for our children that remains intact and reliable. Therefore, I am fortunate to have a family who have little or no scabbed-over, old wounds that get easily scratched open with careless remarks motivated by resentment, jealousy or petty annoyances and instead are appreciative not only of our differences but the common thread that binds us together—each on our own path, each with our own purpose, and each delivered into the lives of the others to learn something, big or small, from one another.
For the joy and pride I felt having my family under one roof, for all the laughter, for all my beautiful daughters and their wonderful men, for all my precious grandchildren, born and unborn, for all that we experienced, and will experience, together, my cup runneth over with love. I am eternally grateful.