I can’t remember ever spending a holiday without our extended family. I know I’m fortunate in that. But circumstances shifted this year and we found ourselves alone at the last minute. Just my husband and I and our three teenagers.
It wasn’t only the lack of numbers that made it a strange day. It was the quiet. Usually the holiday house is filled with the chaos of children, lots of women in the kitchen cooking and talking, and the occasional murmur from the men in front of the football games that lets us know they are still alive. Once we’ve cleaned up—together—there’s cheering for the Cowboys and the traditional halftime coffee and pies. At the end of the day, we divvy up the leftovers and head into the night, satisfied in both body and soul.
This Thanksgiving, I stressed over doing the whole meal myself, which led to tension that took a while to dissipate. We sat fairly docile as the Cowboys faltered, though we perked up a bit as they almost pulled off a great comeback. The upside: we had LOTS of leftovers, which was good since my husband and boys always complain that we don’t bring home enough of whatever they deem “the good stuff.”
In the end, it was a peaceful day, but not a normal one.
I think I prefer normal.