This Thanksgiving the turkeys came home to roost.
When I was a child Thanksgiving was so much fun. My mother rose early to stuff and bake a 25 pound turkey. Mary and I peeled ALOT of potatoes, each of us seeing how long we could make the peels before they broke. We had squash with maple syrup and butter, cream cheese filled celery, olives, bread, butter, gravy stuffing and LOTS of pie. Thanksgiving was fun and family and too much food. I wanted my kids to have the same memories of Mom Dad and pumpkin pie but their childhood was different than mine.
When Will and Sam were 3 and 7 their father and I divorced and Thanksgiving became a day of negotiation. Who got them and when were the bargaining points we had to figure out. It worked but it was never easy. Mistakes were made. I have regrets. People hurt. I wasn’t perfect and I don’t think I’ll get there in this lifetime. It’s easy to look back and feel regret, shame, and confusion. Those feelings are uncomfortable and real and who wants to feel uncomfortable? It takes courage and humility to accept the past and one’s mistakes. It takes courage to let the past be in the past too. The rubbing blister of the past showed up and asked to be let in. It’s oh so cozy to be miserable, isn’t it? Not this year. This Thanksgiving when I celebrated being my sons, now 26 and 22 I came to peace with things. How? Gratitude. I am grateful that they have two homes to visit on the holiday. I am grateful just to be alive. I am grateful that we celebrate together and separately. I am grateful to be a mother to these two sons. I watched this Ted Talk and was reminded that every day, minute and moment is an opportunity to be grateful. Grateful people are happy people. I give thanks for the opportunity to let go, stop, think and go forward just for today.