The other day I had Thanksgiving.
I had Thanksgiving with Philly, Son, Son Wife and Daughter.
So it is the night before Thanksgiving and Son and Son Wife arrive from NYC. They have come with armfuls of stuff including three desserts: Bundt cake made by son wife, cornbread made by son, and one fancy pie from a store.
“Y’all made this?” I say to them both.
“Yes!” son says.
I did not know son was a baker. Or a cooker really. I have come to find out both Son and Son Wife are quite the cookers. They have all the modern appliances. They even have a mini deep fryer.
We here at the Philly house have mostly none of that stuff, except for the juicer which we still have not used because neither one of us wants to clean it.
I tell son, “You should deep fry a chicken!”
Son says, “It’s not that big mom.”
“How about a small hen?” I ask.
We talk a little before bedtime. About how son never used to separate the laundry into colors and whites. And about various aspects of cleaning. Apparently Son and Son Wife are very tidy. Son has even watched the Marie Kondo Series.
Then Son Wife prompts son to tell us something. “Are you going to tell them?” she asks.
I think: Yet another thing son has probably known for months but has told us.
And…I am right!
Son says, “I got a new job.”
“Really?” I say. “Didn’t you just get the job at that non-profit organization that works to feed the city?”
“Yes.” he says. “But that was temp to perm. Now I will be working in Development at a big NYC hospital.”
“How long have you known this?” I ask.
“Maybe since September.” he says, all casual like.
“SEPTEMBER?” I say. “What the hell?”
I am palms to the sky.
Son never ever ever never tells me what is happening as it is happening. Tonight he tries to explain this by telling me he is superstitious.
Son and Son Wife decide to make some guacamole. Philly goes to the co-op to pick up some avocados. He comes back and the avocados are hard as a rock. We try as best we can to use them but it is impossible.
“Maybe we should go back to the co-op and just get guacamole?” I ask. “And we can add your special ingredients to it.”
“Ok.” The group says. Philly went last time so now it is my turn.
Son asks for if we have measuring spoons. This is funny because the favors at Son’s wedding were measuring spoons.
So I say, “Yeah I got them at someone’s wedding.”
Son and Son Wife start laughing.
“Oh yeah.” Son says.
Next day comes and it is Thanksgiving. We get up and after a nice run and breakfast we start the preparations. Philly is doing he turkey. I am doing the sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, broccoli, rolls, corn, and cranberry sauce (which we forget about anyway). And gravy.
I tell Philly, “If we had motorcycles we could go for a ride!”
And Philly says, “If we had Moon Buggies we could ride around on the moon!”
He is funny, that Philly.
By 5pm it is time to eat. We are desperately trying to get everything out at the same time so nothing gets cold. This is always a challenge for me when it comes to cooking. I get very frustrated and mostly no one wants to be around me.
When we sit down to eat we do the GRATS tradition. Everyone gets an index card and a pen to write down some things they are grateful for. And then we put them in a bowl and pass them around to read out loud.
I am grateful for the whole family being together
Things young adults say
Finding support when I need it
I would write everyone’s GRATS down here but first I would need their permission and I am too lazy to get it.
We eat. Everything is delicious. We move onto dairy free desserts and one dairy pie. My favorite is the Bundt cake all drizzled with white frosting.
Unfortunately, this is when a heated discussion starts to heat up. For various reasons, I will not discuss the content here. However, I will say part of it rides on generational knowledge and differences. The discussion goes on and I am getting very upset inside. This feels like I am inside one of those movie scenes where they show the family fighting at some holiday or another. I get so upset I wind up yelling. This never happens to us. Why is it happening now when Son Wife is here on Thanksgiving for the first time?
You know how they say don’t discuss politics (or topics closely related) at the table?
I feel like crying.
I try to let go. I plan to make an apology the next day.
Next day comes and I make my apology. The Young Adults tell me their feelings. I listen. I just hope we can all let it go.
Later we discuss the virtues of using towels after a shower vs air drying. I myself prefer a towel. And staying up late vs going to bed early. And a few other things. I am trying to find out what Son and Son Wife are learning about each other since they live together now. I find out lots of things which I cannot discuss here. Suffice to say they are in DISCOVERY mode.
And then we are done. We begin the assembly line clean up. Table to kitchen back to table to kitchen. Washing and drying and putting away.
Since there are five of us it goes pretty fast.
Next day Daughter, Son Wife and Son go to see Knives Out. I stay home. Maybe we will go axe throwing later. For now I need a nap.
The rest of our time together melts away. We go to the restaurant daughter works at. We do some more talking about Marie Kondo. Apparently son has this very neat and orderly way he keeps his drawers. Some things are even categorized. And perfectly paired.
“Wow!” I say.
Son Wife smiles. “Yup!” she says.
I don’t know how son has become so orderly.
Philly says, “This makes perfect sense really.
I think about Son’s ways.
“Yes.” I say. “I guess it does.”
It is almost time for the train home. As usual I feel time has gone by so fast. Do you feel that way reader? Like there are so many things you want to do together but time runs out.
Off to the train we go. The roads are clear and it is a quick drive. We pull up in front of the train station. I ask if they need any help because they really have a lot of stuff with them.
“No, its okay. We got it.” Son says.
And that’s it. I watch them pull the golden handle of the train station and enter the station.
I think about our visit.
It was good to see Son and Son Wife for their first married visit.
They really are a perfect pair.
I think: I always want things to be just right.
I think: They never are.
We had time together and shared a meal and conversation.
And that is enough.