Six years ago today, I awoke in my room in The Daisy House, and I was sad. It was the first Thanksgiving in my 25 years that I was not waking up in the same house as my family. I called Mom. Crying. "Mom... I miss all of you."
"Oh, Kristi..." She assured me. "We will see you tomorrow night. Besides, you'll have fun with Andrew's family." Perhaps she was right, perhaps she wasn't, But that didn't really matter to me. I wasn't just sad because I missed them. I was sad because it had just hit me that things were actually shifting in my life. And I was going to have to figure out a new "normal".
That morning marked the beginning of the mad juggling of families that now encompasses the majority of our holidays. I suppose most every young family goes through this (at least if they are blessed enough, as we are, to be on good terms with both sides of the family). And it seems to get a little tougher each year... As a new sibling gets married... Or another kid comes along.
I wonder at what point people stop trying to do everything with each family and just start developing their own family traditions? I assume this must happen at some point. I mean how else would kids learn about the tradition of waking up in your own house on Christmas morn and anxiously running down to the tree to see what surprises they would find?
Then again, I still don't think I could bear not seeing our families during the holidays. Sometimes it's a week before or a week after the actual day, but we still get together and break bread and do our best to have fun. It's all part and partial of giving thanks and sharing the love I guess.
At least this morning I didn't wake up in tears. Nope, 6 years after that first weepy Thanksgiving, I woke up, kissed the baby next to me, hollered (hushedly) at the other two to quiet it down, and began a baking frenzy to get us through the next 4 days of eating. No tears this year. Just a grateful smile on my face to have so many loved ones to visit and hug and be merry with.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!