I hope that everyone had a really great Thanksgiving weekend. The greatest thing about working on a Tuesday to Saturday schedule is that my thanksgiving weekend is 5 days instead of 4. Somehow that extra day is always super important for recovering from the weekend. Whether its the amount of food or the amount of family, that additional 24 hours makes me feel like me again.
We spent Thanksgiving on Cape Cod with my sister and her boyfriend and his family. One of her boyfriend’s cousin is a chef and they always do a huge thanksgiving for 30 people and my sister has been begging us to come for years. We said yes this year because we hosted last year, my mom was driving, and why wouldn’t I want to eat food prepared by a professional chef. And Deb was right, the food was amazing, and there was a ton of it. So much in fact that my apple cider caramels went pretty unnoticed. I mean, I was sad about that, but when they were up against my mom’s carrot cake and a dining room table full of other cakes, cookies, and pies, the poor things never stood a chance. I tried to enjoy myself throughout the day, and I love spending time with my sister and her boyfriend, but ultimately all Thanksgiving highlighted was something that is lacking in my life: a blended family.
Everyone says that when you get married you’re not just marrying the person, you’re marrying their family. That is certainly true in Evan’s case. My mom and I talk pretty constantly, and you read about my sister here like once a week. We spend the jewish holidays with them, we see my mom about once a month for various reasons, and Evan has absolutely embraced my family (even in instances like Friday when my mom and my grandfather argued for about two hours about how to work and follow the gps. Its moments like that when I know he has certainly joined the family. They have no qualms yelling at each other in front of him and he’s already great and tuning them out when necessary). However, I did not marry Evan’s family. Evan’s dad and I have a good relationship and I see him occasionally. He has always been super supportive of us and I’m grateful for that. However, I have no relationship with Evan’s mom. During the wedding planning she and my mom got in a fight. Then she and I got in a fight. My understanding is that she didn’t understand why I wanted to have a relationship with her, or why it was important to me that she be a part of my life. In my life, one thing I have learned is, you cannot force someone to want to have a relationship with you, so I didn’t. So I did not marry Evan’s family, and when his mom came to my wedding wearing white after never fully agreeing that she or her husband or her kids would come, I felt like I had maybe dodged a bullet.
That doesn’t necessarily make it easier to be around my sister and her amazing blended family. Her boyfriend’s mom is nothing but kind to me, she even helped stuff my wedding invitations. And his mom and my mom get along really well. I’m happy for my sister, and most of the time I don’t feel like I am missing anything in my life, but when faced with a huge extended family that is not mine, I am reminded of what could be.
I’ve made the request to Evan that he and I spend thanksgiving just the two of us next year. We spend the jewish holidays with my family and Thanksgiving is just a whirlwind of confusing. I’d rather stay at home, with my husband, our family of two, and spare myself the drama.