Monday, November 24, 2008

A Different Thanksgiving.....

....For us anyway.  Small - intimate - trying to create an experience for my children and I when all of my loved ones are too far away.   

I always used to say I belonged to a family that looked like the mid-Mia Farrow phase of Woody Allen's movies (Hannah and Her Sisters).   I have two sisters, and within our extended family, we had large, rambling holidays.  I loved it.  There was always almost too much to do.  Thanksgivings where tables groaned under the weight of what everyone had brought. One year we all watched the Philadelphia parade with babies bundled on our backs, only to return home to chaos as my mom tried to pull it all together (we pitched in and pulled it off).  One year, we rented a huge beach house in Topsail and had what was the last family shindig we'd remember with everyone healthy.  Last year, I drove the kids down to Durham and sat with my sister on the balcony of her little, too hot apartment, with 20 people inside - happy to be there.

We had Christmases where we were snowed in after reaching our destination and sat around a fireplace over steaming bowls of chili - followed by a big pajama party of sorts. Feast of the Seven Fishes at either my sister's hose or my best friend's family - I was a happily adopted child those years.  Carols around the spinet (really!),  long dining tables and laughter.  Big open houses where friends and family would come by, the wine would flow and the glow of the holiday far outweighed the exhaustion of trying to put it all together. 

This year....Mom won't be out on from the nursing home.  My sister is working in Durham and can't come up - her partner's mother is fighting Alzheimer's and she cannot leave her alone, so for the two of them to come up, well, it just won't work.  For the first time in my life, I will not see any of  my family this Thanksgiving.  The kids and I are going to have dinner together, and I'll bring up a platter to my mother later.  R and I were talking about what to do as we shopped at Whole Paycheck last night to gather what we needed for Thursday.  They're fine with it just being us - they've always found the holiday thing too overwhelming - while I'm spinning like a top, tears just behind my eyes.   R made a suggestion - let's do something to create our own small tradition.    Eating at our large dining room table, just the three of us, is a depressing thought.  We're struggling with what to do to make this seem small, intimate and wonderful, not depressing.  If you have any suggestions, please let me know.....

Monday, November 10, 2008

Catching Up...... has been moving quickly lately.   Mom is settled into her nursing home, none too happy, but knows its the best place for her to be (at the moment).  My feelings are mixed here - on the one hand, there is a huge weight lifted from my shoulders - no second guessing on parenting (from the woman who would have NEVER won the Donna Reed award - more likely the Joan Crawford award), I get to deal with my teens on MY terms.  I don't have someone who, though I do love her very much just sucked the life out of me, demanding my attention every spare moment I have.  It's a freedom that I enjoy, though I wish she were more comfortable.  She's at the end of her life and she knows it and is choosing to be miserable about it.  

Other news....I attended a reunion this weekend.  It was a reunion of old friends and associates that worked for a research/advisory firm.  We met up in NYC at an Irish bar on the Upper East Side.  Apart from terrible weather on Saturday, it was  a wonderful, much needed weekend.  I spent the weekend with close friends, one especially close friend.  I don't talk about him much because much of our relationship is undefined or defies definition, but he has a good chunk of my heart.  One day, we'll get our acts together as our other commitments to job, kids and the like shift - but right now, we're both thankful for the time we get to spend together.   We spent a rainy Saturday strolling, doing silly touristy stuff like visit Zabar's and the Met. Over drinks at the Plaza, we chuckled over silly things and smiled. He was a very good doobie, I threw him into the mix of these old friends and he more than held his own..  these are friends that can pick up after not seeing each other for months or years without missing a beat.  We speak our own language, laugh uproariously at shared jokes and experiences, and wish for those that aren't present, knowing they are firmly planted in our hearts.  It was pure joy.   

I headed home Sunday to be nominated for VP of our club's golf association (why? I don't know other than I am tired of the junk that is going on), visited Mom and crashed.   I need a weekend from my weekend. 

Monday, November 3, 2008

Exercise Your Rights.....Vote!!!

If you don't act, you're part of the problem. Whatever your politics, don't think this is tilted to any one side. Exercise your rights....VOTE


obama ....Not that I'm trying to sway anyone at this late date....;-) 

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sometimes Teenagers Are Actually Cool.....

Tonight, the kids and I went to Bonefish Grill - we laughed over dinner and teased each other unmercifully.  They clucked over their grandmother in the rehab hospital (well, M did as much as he could); and we went home and sat together for a while. When it got too girly for M, R and I sat and watched Bridget Jones and giggled.  Sometimes teenagers can be soo cool....