Holidays are a strange time for me. I have a very weird and difficult relationship with my relatives and progress has been slow in making things any better. Of course, when I was a young dumb man with no real concerns, this didn’t matter to me. I thought that they could take care of themselves, I would live my life, and everyone would be just fine. The story totally changes when Max makes his entrance.
There’s a need for normalcy that plays into my renewed attempts at doing traditional family things, so that he doesn’t feel out-of-place or odd when his friends and playmates talk about their families. I want Max to have at least a basic sense of having a complete circle of family members who would care for and help him. And so, I put effort into trying to build a new and improved version of my family relations. I don’t have the best toolkit to do so, but you gotta work with what you have.
Tonight was our Thanksgiving dinner, and it went well. My brother and his family weren’t a part of this one, and their exclusion was equal parts accident and venue restrictions. We just don’t have seating to host us, plus my mother and aunt, plus my sister-in-law PLUS my brother and his wife and two kids. I do feel bad that they weren’t a part of things, but I’m not sure if I could have managed the entire group with full attendance. In the grand scheme of things, I hope they can understand and let it slide.
On the plus side, I made a good dinner. Doing all of the cooking (aside from the dishes brought by our lovely guests) helped me handle the whole situation. It kept me busy, involved but slightly removed, and in control of something. Max’s harmonica concert at the end of the evening was a real crowd pleaser. And, I got to give my mother my stern dadface when she forgot to use the magic word. Ah, the sweet power. I have to remember as well that I really enjoy my aunt’s company, and I should put extra effort into spending more time with her.
And now, with fatigue settling in, Max’s bedtime underway, and a pot of turkey soup coming into existence upstairs, I can sit back and relax.