Okay. So life gets very complicated when your children grow up and start marrying people, and by default, the other people’s families. Once it was just no big deal, filling up the places at the table. I can remember, both with Chaz and with M, parking them on the table in their baby carriers, and thinking with wonder about what it would be like some day when those people were big enough to sit in big chairs – all of us in big chairs, all around the table like a real family.
Somehow, we have shot right past that point and the chairs are empty again. But we can’t take the leaves out of the table, because on many a Sunday, they’re all full again. The thing is, when you’ve got a child married, you no longer own the holidays. Not any of them. Instead, you have entered into the age of parcelling them out. If you’re lucky. Like – this year, you guys come to our house. Next year to the Pappenheimer’s house. (None of my kids actually married a Pappenheimer, but I used to babysit for some, and I still love the name).
Then you have TWO children married. And they marry into families where there are more than one married kid – and suddenly, there’s this huge complexity of who goes where when which year. Assuming the ungrateful whelps of children don’t decide to have a holiday in their OWN houses.
This becomes an interesting problem at both Thanksgiving and Christmas. These are times when that old hope that your children will grow up to marry orphans begins to sag a bit in the face of reality. Not that I regret sharing Gin with Kathy. Because I don’t. Most of the time. But this specific is a moot point, since Ginna doesn’t come up here at Thanksgiving anyway, seeing that she lives in New Mexico and their busiest dentist time is during periods when school is out.
Anyway – so far, we’ve been lucky: our fellow in-laws are kind of on the same schedule we are. Which can mean that we have all the kids here at one time some years. But which also means that this year, all the kids were somewhere else. The real aggravation was that Cam and L and the three tiny Wild Ones drove down to GINNA this year. So half the family was down there. And even Chaz’ buddy, Chelsea flew home to the East. Which left just the three of us.
When I chose this picture, it was because I loved the busy table. I didn’t realize that Chaz had her mouth gaping open. Which was her own fault. I mean, I wasn’t hiding the fact that I had the camera up to my face. So here it is – just don’t look at her. I like the warm colors here. And that bottle is sparkling fruit juice, just so you know.
So we were a tiny family – but the turkey (which G always gets up really early to stuff and start) and the gravy (the most important part) and dressing (ditto) were deee-lectable.
Oh – and just for the record, last year, we had Thanksgiving (with everybody) a week early because Gin was going to be here. She actually ended up with two Thanksgivings, one here and one at Kathy’s, so we chose to have meatloaf (wasn’t it meatloaf?) instead. But then we had turkey for the smaller group on The Day. But we’ve also been known to have it on Friday, or the weekend. Love is what it’s all about, after-all. Not what day of the week. So a belated happy thanks-giving day – but, you know – that should probably be every day, anyway.