Several years ago, we stopped doing the "family thing" for Thanksgiving. Before that we would trade years. One year we'd go to the McCoy's and spend Thanksgiving at a catfish restaurant or at Montgomery Bell State Park buffet. The other year we'd drive to Georgia and gather with my Dad's family for the holiday. I loved my family members, but I didn't enjoy either festivity.
Catfish or the country buffet simply didn't seem enough like Thanksgiving to me. And driving to Georgia to turn around and drive back through the holiday traffic didn't appeal to me either. So, one year we told both families that we were breaking tradition and going our own way. So, we have a new tradition. The Thanksgiving holiday is spent with our immediate family. Just us--Tom, me, Mikel, Kaleigh and TJ. The first year we did this, the kids loved it! We found a condo in the mountains and took off.
We spent the holiday hanging out with one another, making Christmas presents, and doing whatever there was to do in the locale where we were staying. Then, about 3 years ago, we started going to North Carolina. My parents had a place there--oh my, it was incredible! We took all our food with us (I have this little envelope with the menu's, shopping lists and recipes in it.) and we played games, put together puzzles, watched ball games, took hikes and roasted marshmallows. My parents would come up on Friday after Thanksgiving and we'd all go together Saturday morning to cut our Christmas trees. Then--we'd haul it back home.
But my parents had to sell their house this past year. That, my friends, was a sad day. And so when this week was approaching, I was in a quandry as to what to do. I tossed around the idea of staying here. And, we almost opted for that. But, then I realized that all 3 of my kids would want to be anywhere but home, and I'd have to "ground" them just to have time together!!
So, just a few days ago, I got online and found us a cabin to rent--back in North Carolina. I'm leaving tomorrow (Sunday) and Kaleigh's going with me. Tom, Mikel and TJ are coming up on Wednesday to meet us. I shopped today using the lists in my Thanksgiving Menus envelope, and have all the food packed in my Highlander.
Just in case you are picturing the picture-perfect family all nestled in a mountain cabin enjoying one another's company--I want you to know what each of my children have said about my plans:
Mikel--"I found someone who will let me go with them to their Thanksgiving dinner if I can talk you out of taking me."
Kaleigh--"I don't know why we have to go over there. This is a perfectly good place to be. I'll miss my friends."
TJ--"Awe, Mom. Do we have to go?"
People tell me this is simply a phase we're going through. It seems that if you don't have a last name different than my own--my kids don't want to hang with you. Why is that? When did I lose my appeal? What happened to "Oh mommy, can I go with you?!" I'd even welcome a tear or two when we have to part for school in the morning!!
But...I'm still the Mama so I still get the "say so." And I say we're spending Thanksgiving together--far, far away. Where cell phones won't work, and computers won't link into the internet! We're eating pumpkin pie, turkey, dressing and cranberry sauce and WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A GOOD TIME!!!
I hope that you have a Happy Thanksgiving too. And, that you'll take some time to thank God for giving (I'll be thanking Him for giving me these teens!).
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