On the evening of Thanksgiving, after having had dinner with my husband's family, I had to take a deep breath. In through your nose, expand your belly ... out through your mouth, bring your navel toward your spine ... in ... ahhh ... out ... phew ...
Some of my husband's family, especially his Uncle Jimmy (who's not related to him at all, in any traditional sense of the word), I love. And despite their endless quirks and vices, I love his siblings, too, although I suspect their love for me ebbs and flows.
Others, well, let's just say that "thanks" were not among the things they were "giving" this holiday. In ... Out ... At one point, about 84 minutes into the evening, relative M. leaned over to me and asked in a stage whisper, "how soon do you think we can leave without being rude?"
Umm, so not the point? If you don't want to come, don't come! I wanted to shout. We're all full up on negativity, here.
In fact, there was no talk of thanks at all until we returned home, all four of us, testosterone-y as all get-out, cozied up on the couch with TV we could all agree upon. I'm thankful for three boys, that are sweet, and cute, and smart, and strong. I'm thankful for my house, that I love so much despite its leakiness and the toys Truman puts down the toilet, plugging and sending dirty water into the kitchen below (sigh). I'm thankful for my job, that I love even when I'm working on a holiday or late into the evening; it's a great job, and I can work from home, and I love everyone I work with. I'm thankful for my ever-expanding group of friends, who are creative and smart and geeky and artistic and passionate and totally the ones I want at my cafeteria table.
But most of all I'm thankful for this, this hand-me-down couch, this family, this time to be with them. And I'm also thankful for whipped cream.