|My flower child daughter |
Image copyright, Teece Aronin
The kids and I were with family and just like previous years, I was told not to bring anything but ourselves because "we know how busy you are."
It's true, I am busy. But how can I be busier than the others who show up lugging bowls big enough to host nationally-televised football games and baking dishes you could fill with water for small children to bathe in - oh and small children; some people were were lugging those too.
It might be that I get off so easy because historically not the best things in life have come from that dark, shadowy, cobwebby room in my house I call the kitchen.
But I'm happy anyway because my family honestly does wave me away lovingly and because they do genuinely care about how much I have to do these days.
But you'd think they'd at least let me bring the cider provided I buy it somewhere and not try to make it from scratch by pulverizing my own apples which with my track record would turn out to be wormy and rotten.
So what I do instead of cooking is to bring a nice hostess gift. This year I scored a deal on a huge holiday wreath and that was my contribution to the day.
Also with us this year were a man who might have been alone otherwise and several other people who didn't start out as "family" but are now that they've been with us at these gatherings for years.
I'd made it through three forkfuls of turkey before some rabble-rouser brought up the election. It turned out to be my own daughter. But one thing to be thankful for was how one swift kick to the ankle made her instantly a-political and un-opinionated. And I was one proud mother to think I still had that much influence over her behavior.
Then one of the ladies at the table asked my son what grade he was in and when he said "Tenth," the lady exclaimed, "Oh, tenth grade was the best year of my life!" Someone else at the table quietly inquired, "Why - you got pregnant?"
Of course we all laughed and laughed. Actually, we really did.
After dinner, my daughter let her baby cousins give her a makeover from which she emerged looking like a 1960s flower child and my son posed for pictures placid and dignified in his two-year-old cousin's tiny pink sunglasses.
And I . . . I thought how thankful I was for everyone there and how delicious dinner had been - partly because everyone insisted I not cook.