Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Day for Giving Thanks

As Thanksgiving Days go, this could seriously go down as the worst ever if I were to judge it by normal standards. The meal was less than tasty, the company in which we ate the meal was very Jerry Springer-ish, there was nothing festive to eat at home when we returned from our wreck of a meal and the neighbor kid got his bike stolen from out of his garage in broad dayight, which made my boys sad. But you know what? It wan't a bad day. It was weird and different, but as a family, we enjoyed each other. And we really needed a day to just take time to be with each other.

The food thing? Went down like this...Gramma ended up having a lot of last minute dinner guests, which stressed her out and her food suffered because of the stress. So hubby and kids didn't chow down like they normally do. Now me? I'm not judging Gramma or her efforts cause been there, it's a lot of food to cook and I've messed up my share of meals.

The people thing? Was just wierd. The in-law situation is touchy when things are normal, which is NOT our definition of normal. Again, not judging, just stating a fact regarding our differences in how we filter reality. Their reality is an open door kind of thing, where lots of different "characters" are welcome in their home, like their current son-in-law and his friends. There were some real winners there today. I won't go into details. Let's just say we lead very different lifestyles from the visitors there today. Which is fine, but awkward when they are obviously used to "that special kind of oregano" and kegs as part of the meal...and having to constantly remind them there were kids present during some of the conversations was even MORE awkward, given that some of the kids were their own! Again, not judging...they were nice people. Just different and I think they were glad to have a place to be for Thanksgiving.

THEN... because I have moronic moments of what think is brilliance, I decided not to buy a lot of food for today, because I usually bring home lots of leftovers. But we boogied so fast from Grammy's house this year that we didn't have anything thanksgiving-y for dinner. Little Man was straight out mad that he didn't get deviled eggs this year and Big Brother wanted some stuffing without burnt gravy like Gramma's.

We didn't have any of that. So we ate burgers and watched Star Trek the movie. The kids were happy, Big Man was happy, I was happy and we had brownies for dessert. Total peace and satisfaction. And I am grateful. Because as weird as the day was...I recognized my blessings. Actually, I recognized them because of the weirdness.

I realized how important my husband and boys are to me. Their happy faces and laughter make my heart sing. Spending time with them brings me joy (most days) and I would be lost without them (most days).

I realized that the guests at my MIL's house were just cash strapped people trying to build a life like we are right now, but they had no family to turn to or to eat with. And I am grateful that we have somehow managed to keep our home and a shred of dignity and that through the grace of God and generosity of family, we have survived an incrediby tough year.

I realized that even though the food was not her best, I am very blessed to have a MIL who was willing to take the time to prepare a huge meal and have us over to celebrate with the family. I am so grateful that I have family close to me. And that I didn't have to cook. Or clean up!

I am grateful that my MIL was understanding when my husband wanted to leave early. She was gracious and loving and honestly? I think this group freaked her out a little bit too. It was nice to leave without a guilt trip.

I realized that I really am growing to love my neighbors. When M came over to ask if we had seen his bike he was so sad and it made us all sad for him. My boys immediately helped him scour the neighborhood while all of us parents stood around commiserating about the state of our neighborhood and speculating about who we think the offenders might be. I am grateful that I have neighbors who look out for each other and that our kids all get along (most days) and that my boys love their friend enough to want to help him with his plight.

And I am most grateful that I have a loving Heaveny Father who helped me recognize that I am where I need to be right now and that I am truly blessed with all I need right now. Other than a job. I still need that.

Happy Thanksgiving!


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