Thanksgiving Lock and Load

The other day The Golf Pro caused a gigantic record scratch sound in my head when told me that Thanksgiving was 4 days away, which made me feel positively exhausted. I really thought I had another couple of weeks under my belt on that one.  Uh oh. Mentally, I leapt immediately to the most radical thing I could do as method of self care (you know, the opposite of the self-flagellation over what a poorly organized human being I was) and I thought, “Hey, what if I just don’t have it at all?” This is an article sponsored by Gather App

How did this happen to me? The better question is why does this happen to me every year. And the answer is because I have no internal calendar. I never have. I only ever know what day it is based on the children being in school. Yes, I am THAT unstructured. I try not to fight it anymore. And guess what? This week they’re out of school, which means that time for me is largely tribal. It’s either the beginning of the It’s-bright-and-I-can-see-stuff time…or it’s not. It’s a long story for another post. But try and imagine this inner nature meeting the world of 9-5-Gregorian-calendar world in which my 6 children are required to operate. Worlds collide there for sure.

It may also have had some kind of Freudian relationship to the highly conflicted fact that I am secretly very romantic about the holidays, despite having no historical record of success where they are concerned. As an adult, mine are generally spent frantically trying to deliver 7 people to three separate, yet interested parties…and thinking about it makes me feel tired all over again. Holidays are a place of unwelcome stress and easy sadness for me if I am not very, very careful about it. Small wonder that my mind instinctively avoids thinking about it at all. I wish I had been more aggressively protective about my own needs over the previous years, but in the end, that sort of thing doesn’t come easily to me.

But this year was different in that I found that I was no longer really even in the equation anymore. It’s an interesting (and not entirely uncomfortable) place to be. Now there are elderly, and not very mobile grandparents to accommodate and the 12 year olds have their own naturally occurring autonomy to bring to the event in a new way.

And so, when I finally thought to ask them where they wanted to spend Thanksgiving, my oldest son opted for his father’s house, where I discovered an 18 lb turkey had already been purchased. And that was that dilemma done in under 10 seconds (oh, and thanks for mentioning the turkey before that guys!). Now, while I am rarely able to act on behalf of my own wishes, acting on behalf of my children’s gives me no such pause.

From there, it was just a quick series of manipulations and the use of a child on the telephone with instructions to be winsome and invite everyone to his father’s, followed by another call to inform his father that he had invited everyone to their place for Thanksgiving. (insert the hashtag #winning here).

Shameless? Perhaps, but if you knew that cast of characters to which I am the hub due to my having been the womb of arrival for all these kids, you’d forgive me. You might even congratulate me on my creativity. Our is a blended family fresh out of a Cuisinart. We do what we must to make it through.

In the meantime, I went from not cooking at all, to doing most of the side dishes, since it also turns out that Grandma just had cataracts surgery and isn’t supposed to be in the kitchen at all. Being a traditional Japanese woman, she hasn’t really left the kitchen from birth and she sounded decidedly less than thrilled about my food coming into her kitchen. I always have the feeling that she’s more than a little surprised any time I produce something edible. The good news is that being over 40, I am no longer required to care about that sort of thing. There’s beauty in age for sure.

So, this year, again, I’m cooking and traveling, which seems to be my Thanksgiving tradition after all. Lock and Load people, it’s time to take the circus on the road again.  #jazzhands!