I am a veritable Dorothy, come to roost at my husband’s familial home after being naked scanned, felt up in public, and swabbed for bomb residue. It’s midnight when we arrive. We go to bed in Jim’s old bedroom but I don’t sleep.
The next day it takes a couple of hours for the infamous potato rolls to finish rising, bake and cool, and for the nine of us in the three-bedroom home to get ourselves clean and ready to make the 20 minute-ride to Nanny’s for Thanksgiving.
We arrive. There were 53 there that day. The onslaught began at the door. No-one thought we’d make it because of the weather so that was what we dealt with first, then where we’ve been since we’ve gone missing for two years.
There weren’t enough at home so we had a sleepover for four more wonderful and engaging children. So the 13 of us got ready the next morning. I enjoyed all the machinations of the girls and boys Thanksgiving evening trying to figure out who was going to sleep where. And after 10:30 the house was quiet, amazing!
Everything would have settled to normal then but Jim took up balloon twisting this summer and has practiced a few times. He made a few for the neighbors grandkids to have, then made a number of them at the airport awaiting our flight. He was the hit of Thanksgiving, with dogs, bumblebees, pirate swords, then princess scepters, alien hats, and guitars.
The problem was that we heard all these names and didn’t know who they were or who they belonged to! It appears that there are a lot of new children in Jim’s extended family and it took me a bit to find out who belonged to whom without asking questions, as we missed a lot last year!
The other interesting thing is that it is mainly men/women at this annual event. The men watch football. The women cook, serve, clean and take care of the children. This year I saw men I met a decade ago deal with their young children. And yes, I had to match the grandpa to the child running around the house, because certain grandpas have never engaged with children or the women present. This very sight was a gift to me being a woman who travels there (is not supposed to bring food), brings food, and helps out and even gives cooking lessons. To see the children grow over these years is a real treat.
Jim and I do not have children, not that we didn’t want them. It was probably apt that he made “alien” balloons for the kids that requested one, because no-one understands what he does for a living, and no-one understands how we could live a life without babies. We do. We have to.
Would I have liked to marry right after college and start a family? No. I wasn’t mature enough to do that, especially as I started school a year early. Was it right to wait for my love? You bet. This is the real world and we have yet another wedding anniversary coming up. Happy holidays to you and yours, Dee