After near-death automotive experiences in the past two Thanksgivings, we informed our friends and family that we would not be coming “home” to WV for Thanksgiving. They were welcome to come to us, but we would not be traveling. I refused to even drive to the grocery store on that day.
I’m a bit conflicted about the idea of “going home” for the holidays. None of our parents live in the homes where we spent our childhood years. We are building our home and community here in the Shenandoah. I want our kids to have some memories of celebrations here, at home.
This was the best holiday-related decision we have made in years. Our friends Laura and Myers, who also have a new baby (how did I not manage to get a picture of that beautiful baby??), decided that they didn’t want to travel either, so we invited them to our house.
We made the turkey, and everyone contributed side dishes. I was nervous about doing the turkey, but the internet told me the very best, easiest way to do it. Thank you, internet!
Lillian (almost five) decided that she didn’t like “cooked turkey,” so she had a ham sandwich instead. It’s the holidays. Let’s not fight about turkey. That was a lovely aspect of the dinner. No one fought about or avoided any particular topic. We talked politics a bit, but we’re largely in agreement on political subjects, so that wasn’t a big deal.
The only squabbles at all were between the children. Lillian and Silas “act like siblings,” as Laura put it, including chasing each other, bossing each other around, grabbing toys, wrasslin’, and provoking each other.
It kind of made it feel like a real family holiday to be breaking up kid fights.
After dinner, we took a walk down to the river together.
At the river, we took family pictures. Theirs came out better than ours, though both of the children were solidly at the end of their energy for the day, and neither of the babies were very visible in all their bundling. The pictures are us, right now. Tired and working every minute to keep it together, but full of love and joy, too.
I had a thankful Thanksgiving.
Thankful for good friends.
Thankful for beautiful land.
Thankful for energetic, quirky children.
Thankful for smiley babies.
Thankful for feeling like we stayed home, rather than “going home.”