It's possible that I am bringing the wrong energy to this holiday weekend. Namely, my sentiment is generally, "Thanksgiving is gonna be my bitch." Maybe it's a tad hostile. But, I keep finding myself saying it over and over. You give a girl a stuffing recipe and next thing you know she's talking shit to the most American of holidays.
I actually really like Thanksgiving. It's way better now that I am in recovery for my eating disorder. I guess that kind of goes without saying. Even when I was busy polishing off pecan pies and swearing off the dinner rolls before eating a fourth helping (Frank Bruni wasn't the only person born round), I always like that it was everyone's holiday. I guess I liked that it wasn't religious. Being thankful was beyond religion so it was a holiday for everyone I knew, including my Jewish ballet teachers and my Baptist grandmother. So I especially like that aspect now that Jeff and I come from different religious traditions.
It also got better when I accepted that I probably won't ever be part of a family that plays touch football in autumn leaves before eating turkey around a large farmhouse table. I accept that I hate football (I am looking at you, Penn State) and that I don't really want to do anything more with autumn leaves than look at them from the warmth and saftey of my mini-van when I drive to the suburbs. We are usually in LA visiting Jeff's family during the Thanksgiving holiday, which is a raucous good time and a double celebration because we celebrate Hannukah during the weekend. I am not sure I have seen any autumn leaves in Southern California, but I have seen and experienced lots of love, and some damn fine fried potato pancakes to boot. This year we were not brave enough to do the holiday travel with our two junior members, so we are going more low-key (except for the part where I am going to make this holiday my bitch) and having some friends over for an early dinner. It won't be relaxing because the children are invited and nothing ruins relaxation like children.
So, here I am almost 40 years old with a fridge full of things that I made while holding Simon and holding off Sadie. Most of it, I don't even particularly like. But I am leaning in to the holiday and waiting to welcome home my husband-- the one with the bad back who told me that he won't be able to pick up our children for a few days. (So much for my plan to have him change all the diapers for the weekend.)
It's good. I feel grateful and alive and realistic. And that's the best recipe I have.