Today, Jim and I are taking our dogs, in the RV, over to my family’s farm on the east side of the state. That just sounds so fabulously normal to me. We haven’t had a holiday with my sisters and mother in probably thirty years. I think once, back in 1980, we might have driven from Philadelphia to Fowlerville for Thanksgiving dinner.
When the kids left home, holidays lost a lot of the allure for me. If they weren’t coming for dinner, there didn’t seem much point. Then I found out that as they matured, I did better with them on their own turf. Unless they were coming to us for a few days, that hour or two spent together just didn’t cut it for me. Now, of course, I would give anything for an hour or two to sit and have a cup of java with my son or my daughter. I may have to stop to weep.
Friends come and go. That is so hard! I have been through a few heartaches lately; my own, unreasonable expectations dashed. What I thought was friendship may have been something much different. But I am almost sixty years old. Feelings can’t be trusted. So I am pulling myself up by the bootstraps, and just so very thankful that my sister, Liz invited us for dinner today.
I think that I must be one of those weird people who hate holidays. They are so fraught with fantasy. The perfect Christmas tree, well-adjusted family members standing around singing Christmas carols. Everyone dressed up, smiling, on their way to Easter church services, grandma coming for dinner later. Birthdays, 4th of July barbecues, you name it. I think in one way or another, I have had some of those things. My mother did her best to make Christmas special. I could never live up to her enthusiasm for the gifts and the meal. It was exhausting. When my children were home, I can remember a few Easter Sundays when we were among the churched. Everyone dressed in their Sunday best, going to church together. Then when that was over, going to my uncle’s house for an Easter Egg hunt and dinner. Or when they were small, going with my mom and dad to their country club for amazing brunch with the Easter Bunny.
Maybe the key is ‘small children’. Once someone in my family ‘pops out a kid’ as they like to say, there will be something to look forward to at the holidays. I will be one of those women who I could never understand before who live for the next visit to the grandchildren. I may already be there! Maybe I am in that gray area between children and grandchildren, being made worse by the fact that I am about 700 miles from one kid, and 2500 miles from the other.
So I made my cake mix cake for today, stuffing from a box, cole slaw, and gathering up dinner for my dogs, we will soon be on our way to my sister’s house, always warm and comfortable, for lamb, turkey, spinach pie, and other goodies. We take the rv so the dogs will be comfortable too.
Have a happy Easter!