Friday, November 27, 2009

Our Happy Thanksgiving

Some of you know I've been having trouble with my Mom. Up until now, I have been polite and not blogged about it. But it's been running heavy on my heart, and with all the joy and Thankfulness of this time of year, it's been hard. It's hard to say I'm Thankful for my family, when part of it is so Broken.
Don't get me wrong, I'm SUPREMELY Thankful for my little band, our little family of 4. In that spot, all is perfect. It's when I extend my thoughts to all angles of my family, that being Thankful and Happy about all our family gets a bit harder. There is drama and bitterness because we went to Marion and Disney and not up to Michigan to see my side. So I was feeling pretty bad and guilty as we've gotten closer and closer to the start of these festivities which have been part of all the heart hurt. But yesterday, my heart didn't hurt.
Yesterday, we schlepped up to Marion, as we do every Thanksgiving Day. There's just something about Eric's grandparents. You don't cross them, you don't argue, if they say be there, we're there. They have our respect, they earned it, and they keep it. We lost Grandma Willman last year, and though Grandpa is deafer than a post, he still commands that same way, probably just like he did when he was a Colonel in the Air Force in WWII. So we go to Marion. It's like a given, an If/Then statement, a Guarantee. If they are "Doing" the holiday, like Thanksgiving or the Saturdays before Christmas or Easter, Then we go.
We got to Marion, and as usual the family was boisterously and gaily welcoming us all with open arms. As soon as we opened the door the smells and the sounds of laughter rolled over us. Aunt Betty swore she was going to kick it down a notch, but I didn't notice. Though when I asked, she rattled off a list of things she didn't make, and had delegated to the family members to bring. We brought asian salad and green fluff, two annual staples. Every inch of space in the kitchen was filled. There was: 2 types of turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, stuffing, gravy, yeast rolls. The salads have their own table: cranberry relish, layered salad, broccoli and cranberry salad, asian ramen salad, green fluff, yellow fluff, reuben dip, pumpkin dip, veggies and dip, relish tray. I didn't even Make it to the Pie table where there was: pumpkin pie, peanut butter pie, chocolate pie, and some Aunt somebody or other's layered pie. It was Amazing. We ate. We ate so much, that I didn't even need dinner, I had leftover green fluff for dinner and that was all.
Sam had a great time getting passed from family member to family member, everybody was thrilled to see him, and love on him. Love both boys really. At one point, all the girls were gathered yapping in the kitchen and all the boys gathered (some snoring) on the couch watching football, and I looked, and MY baby Boys were all hanging in the living room with Dad, Grandpa, Great Grandpa. It was really beautiful. And it did my heart so good.
It's hard to put into words the happy bliss I experienced standing there watching my boys fall into happy place with their family, but it just made me happy and smiley. Overwhelmingly Blessed?! You know how stressful the holidays can be, how we have to Rush Rush Rush, and Go Go, and we don't get too much time to just sit down and cherish what it's all about. Being Thankful. Yesterday I was given that gift, everyone was so busy loving on my boys that I got to just be, just be Thankful for the food I was eating, and for the family that I was with, to actually be able to carry on a conversation without having half my mind on Where is Chris, Where is Sam, who is crying?...I got to be happy and thankful for all the happy noises, and the love that just overflowed.
Speaking of happy noises, once we arrived Chris latched on to play with the cousins, and I barely saw him until we left. He played until he dropped. He didn't even get a nap he was playing so hard. We had brought out Eric's old Transformer collection and taken it up to give to the girls after our meal. So we did. Little did I know Chris was going to go BATTY for them too! He grabbed two that transformed into Dinosaurs, one for each hand, and he didn't put them down for hours. (Luckily he left them in the car, and I'm not pointing out that's where they are, otherwise I don't think he would've gone down for a nap today.) He had been missing his Grandma, and repeatedly asking for her earlier this week. So, we had arranged for him to spend lots of quality time with them. Chris drove home from Marion with them, and spent the night with Grandma at a slumber party. He was having SO Much fun! He barely noticed when Sam was making it clear it was time to go for a ride...out of exhaustion. We had a quiet ride home. Eric and I have talked more in the last 36 hours than we have in the last 36 days! I love being on Vacation! We came home, and watched movies. Holiday Inn! Which I think tops my list of favorite movies of All Time. And I had netflixed Funny Girl, which I must say had a very disappointing ending. And I bet if they had made a musical about Fanny Brice today, the music would be a little more Flapper and little less Hippy...People who love People? Come ON!
I digress.
So, Sam didn't sleep much, so it wasn't like a super awesome night's sleep without Chris waking us (which he still does periodically). But we had an extremely productive morning, of putting the lights on the tree, and tree together which usually makes an insane mess (that Chris just can't keep his hands out of) in the living room. And Daddy is putting the finishing touches on the outdoor lights as we speak. It's been calming, therapeutic.
For lunch we met my inlaws to get Chris back. Chris was still wanting to sit in Grandma's lap, and she wasn't minding, and she was helping him eat. That's 2 days in a row that I've gotten to eat meals because my Fabulous Inlaws are helping with the kids. Don't think Gratefullness for that goes unvalued or unmentioned. Sometimes I just have to say Thank You.
Thank You Willmans for being Awesome. Thank You for being the family that I didn't have. Thank You for offering to change diapers without me having to ask or beg. Thank you for Volunteering to have slumber parties with my boys, or just borrow them so Eric and I can have a date. Thank you for conducting experiments to see if a child can be totally spoiled rotten by Love. Jury is still out on that one. ;)