Families are complicated and complex. The people who’ve known us the longest see us at our best and our worst. Sometimes they are some of our closest friends and other times they hardly seem to truly know us. They love us in spite of ourselves and sometimes in spite of themselves, but sometimes they wound us more deeply than anyone else can. And yet we love. And love. And love.
We spent this Thanksgiving with 4 of the 6 of us kids at my newly ex-sister-in-law’s house. Extended family and friends totaled a part of 21. In some circumstances that may have been awkward, but it was surprisingly, pleasingly not awkward. Here is the messy things about exes. You can’t just undo 20 plus years of knowing and loving people. So in some ways, it was perfectly natural to gather and break bread together.
When we lined up the pies we paid homage to our mom–who taught us (all six of us) how to make pie. and our dad, whose love for a good slice of pie was legendary.
My two youngest stayed at home (at their own choice), where, thanks to that one friend you know you can call in a pinch to look after your kids even if you haven’t talked for 6 months, at least they had a plate of turkey dinner to remind them it was Thanksgiving.
In a couple of weeks, all my kids and some longtime friends–the kind who feel like family–will gather around my table for what we affectionately call Thanksgiving 2.0.
Today was great. And I am grateful. But that will be even better.