We did our Thanksgiving dinner tonight (Wednesday), rather than tomorrow, because My sister, Lisa, Dash, and Mark are going to Florida tomorrow. My parents will go to the lake. Todd and the kids and I will go to Auburn for Thanksgiving with his family, and perhaps take in a little bit of Auburn ass-whupping at the hands of Alabama.

Lisa and i think there should be a law that we should get to ditch our husband’s families during holidays, and just hang out with each other, and have a nanny, and drink wine, eat chocolate pie, and play Russian Rummy or poker all night.

This never happens.

What happens is my kids drive me nuts, and get all cranky, because they are all revved up on candy and chocolate milk and whatever-in-god’s-name-else Grandma gives them, and they throw fits, and I get really self-conscious about my parenting in front of my own parents, because my kids are acting like complete nightmares. Meanwhile, the dogs (there are at least three running around at any time) are stealing food off the baby’s tray, and making the kids cry, and barking at every leaf that falls out of every tree, and eating turkey bones out of the trash, which I can’t find a man to take out to the garage to save my soul.

I am trying to stir giblets and gravy so it won’t burn, heat up turnip greens in the microwave, cook three different casseroles at 350 degrees, shoo my Scotch-soaked father away from the kitchen, and get him all he needs to carve the turkey (“Mouse, there is a right way to carve a turkey and a wrong way; I learned the right way from Daddy- He worked at Morrison’s.”) While doing this, I am also sending my sister to set the table, swatting Rollie’s hand from the turkey plate, batting Jack Russell Terrorists out of the air as they jump for the turkey, taking out recycling, answering texts and calls about dinner timing, and making sure a toddler doesn’t plunge headfirst down the stairs. I break up fights. (Rollie and Tiller over what shows to watch, Tiller and Dash over the stuffed animals, dogs over chew toys, mom and dad over dad being dad, me and dad over dad being dad, Rollie and Dad over Rollie’s Matchbox cars.) I admonish Todd for riling dad up with pointed political discussion.

I drink a never ending glass of wine, but also have a cup of coffee going on the side. I have been reheating the same one since we made a pot after lunch.

We finally sit down to dinner, and everyone complains, then dad does the blessing and Rollie cries, because HE wanted to do the blessing, so we do second blessing, and I look up at my brother-in-law, who makes a point of not bowing his head, because he is an avowed atheist and pretense is anathema to him. I roll my eyes. No one sees. Todd gets possibly unreasonably mad because Tiller spills her milk and then we have to make her a whole new plate and get her a new milk. She cries in shame because for a week, we have been talking about having Thanksgiving dinner with the adults at “The Big Table.” She brightens at the new plate as if nothing has happened.

Dad recites from memory the poem that my grandfather recited every year at Thanksgiving, the poem he learned at Berry School for boys, when he went there as an eleven-year-old orphan in 1927.

We all make an attempt at reverence. I have the urge to cry, i am so tired and worn out from Thanksgiving.

I don’t cry. I am thankful.

We sit around the table. Dash is in the highchair. We all put our arms up in the ref’s sign for a touchdown. We all say, “Touchdown!,” animated and loud. Dash thinks we are brilliant. He puts his arms up and yells, “Touchdown!” Kind of. We all clap and holler. He claps and shrieks in joy.

I thank God that I have my family and they are crying, laughing, fighting, drinking, eating, falling, muddying, snapping, and sharing.

7 Responses to “Thankful”

  1. Ginny says:

    Can’t wait to hear about the gobble, gobble with the in-laws. That’s where I am where, last night, I had to listen to the step-mother-in-law passive aggressively make fun of David for doing a Christmas lights display. She said, “Why would he go to so much trouble to do a Christmas lights display when he doesn’t believe in Christmas or God.” David says, “Well I’m agnostic but since the craziness of Christmas really doesn’t have anything to do with Jesus’ birth, I have no problem with it.” After checking to see if I needed to resuscitate the SMIL I inwardly high-fived my awesome hubby. And that was without David’s f-bomb cussing 94 year old grandfather and mother this afternoon with the dad and step-mother. Ah thanksgiving. Bring on the wine!!! 🙂

  2. Dogwood Girl says:

    That made me laugh out loud, and I am also mentally high-fiving your husband.
    Thanks for commenting on my blog (a.k.a. “stroking my ego.”)

    Happy thanksgiving, and may you have all the wine you need to get by.

  3. Ginny says:

    Glad I could stroke your ego. I feel a connection to ya since you had to hear about me when you and Todd started dating. 🙂 Okay I need to bitch one more time and fb is too dangerous. David’s dad and step-mother just built a million dollar house — the Texas style (don’t get me started). There are pictures all over the house but guess what — there’s only ONE picture of David in their entire house. And that picture? Doesn’t include me AND the picture is located in the damn laundry room. But I can’t walk 10 steps without tripping on a stupid picture of one of HER grandchildren. Really? Really? Oh well…:)

  4. Noelle says:

    Just ban the family all together (except Fiona of course), that’s what I do. And I’ve had the best holidays since. Thank God for wine!

  5. Nikki says:

    Love this post. It is so funny and so true. Gotta love family – sometimes.

  6. Dogwood Girl says:

    I am thankful for you awesome girls, and your moral support. 🙂

  7. Lee Lee says:

    Just getting around to catching up on your blog now. Awesome post! Made me laugh! One thing though – Mark says he’s not an atheist. He doesn’t CARE enough to be an atheist. So he’s almost like worse than an atheist. Ugh.

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