Thanksgiving, aka Turkey Day, is not my favorite holiday. Over the years I’ve developed a feeling of apathy for one more turkey dinner; one more day without my kids; one more meal I am expected to cook and clean up after while everyone else (except my kids) lays around burping and groaning. Instead of more work on Thanksgiving I simply want a few things to be thankful for.
But my kids are growing up. They now make their own decisions about what to do on Thanksgiving and my apathy has turned into a desire to honor the holiday by creating a day of celebration in my, or our, own way. I should mention that my father, God love him, #1: holds his family celebration on Thanksgiving Eve. We all gather at a restaurant near the shipyard where we eat with 50 of our closest kin and some kin we aren’t even actually related to. There is chatting, arguing, turkey and all the time-honored fixin’s. The particular thing about this meal, aside from the family time, is that is makes me feel freed from any obligation to replicate the exact same food items the next day. I mean, I like turkey and all that but not so often.
This year our actual Thanksgiving Day began at 2am when Hubby dragged Teas out of bed and drove away. They headed up to Abingdon, VA where Tea is participating in a ritual of prayer and fasting, known in Native circles as a vision quest. He will be sitting on top of the mountain for 4 days and 3 nights, spending time with himself, praying, thinking, being quiet and still. I admire him for doing it, for being so tough, for finding something that very few kids his age have inside themselves–the ability to spend time completely alone. #2: A great kid with depth. Hubby, on the other hand, will be in the lap of luxury sleeping in a cow barn without heat, electricity or running water for the duration. #3: A husband willing to support our son in his quest and leave me home to hold down the fort, feed the animals and take hot baths just before diving under the covers of our warm, cozy bed.
I slept in until 6:15am when Baby Bear woke me up with his whining and barking. I briefly considered making Eli put him out but decided that would be unnecessarily mean because I’d be getting up anyway. My plans for the holiday included a full day spent with just Eli and M. I was SO excited. We played board games, rode horses, made a gingerbread house, ate a small rendition of a turkey dinner, went for a drive, fed horses for a friend and just hung out. It was great. #4: My daughters who are the best, the funnest, the most cheerful and easy to hang out with people on the planet.
We did have a little mishap. It all started with something like this:
The second time this exact same thing happened (Eli giving Wind a Payday enema), M came off, head-first, into the fence.
(Note to self: Make Eli ride the poky, slow horse next time.)
It ended up with this:
#5: Hard shell riding helmets. The pony bucked my little kid off. She slithered down the fence and crawled under it. For the first time in my life I was immobilized by shock/fear/disbelief. I’ve got to tell ya though, M is one tough customer. I made Eli get off the horse and ride the pony and I put M on the horse. She hopped right on up there and rode him around the back yard. Then she got back on her pony, made him do a few things he wasn’t happy to do and then she dismounted, untacked him, brushed him and only then did we go inside for Arnica and a hot bath. I’m not positive that M doesn’t have whiplash. Her neck definitely hurts but either she’s very stoic or its not severe.
This Thanksgiving made me realize that making my own rules is not only okay, making my own rules ROCKS.