For the last several years, the gathering with my seven children during the holiday season has been between Thanksgiving and Christmas, due to the complications that come with adulthood, like work, and relationships. We’ve gotten away from gifts, for the most part, and simply enjoy the presence of family we once shared daily life with.
My five offspring still in Texas, along with a few significant others and one grandbaby, got together for what used to be “Mom’s Black Bean Enchilada Dinner.” That was always a favorite, and favored this time of year because turkey is plentiful at other tables.
This year my daughter, the one with the baby, took over the cooking duties and hosted the gathering. I live in a small apartment, and really didn’t want to do the work of cooking. And Hannah wanted to use organic, non GMO ingredients, as has been her philosophy for at least 2 years. She is a really good cook, and I was happy to turn it over to her and have it at her house.
Great. Date set well in advance, yes RSVP’s all around — a-and — the baby gets a bad cold, won’t sleep, mother exhausted — so I spent half a day at her house “helping”. It involved a lot of baby holding, which was nice, but before everything could be put together, mother and baby disappeared to nurse and sleep and I, along with Robert and another daughter, put the casseroles together and cleaned up. Way more work than I had counted on, and I went home and crashed.
But– yesterday, when we all got together, it was all worth it. The food was good, the company was great, and we all had a good day. Five siblings reuniting, reminiscing about their childhoods. Hannah says she’s not doing it again, others suggested doing something completely different, or catering. I know a lot can happen in a year, and the most important thing is to keep getting together with family, whatever that looks like.
Here’s my Thanksmas tree.
I am thankful for my family. And actually, am thankful for the empty nest, because I don’t have the energy it takes to have a full one. I am thankful that my kids are all ok.
And life goes on.