I've sat here for a good hour, sipping wine and listening to my husband put the kids to bed upstairs, trying to think of a proper Thanksgiving post that isn't overdone or sappy or trite and I have to say... I've got nothing. By the time you read this I will be camped out on my in-laws' couch, laptop perched on my knees, furiously hammering out the end to my NaNoWriMo novel. I'm responsible for a side dish and a dessert, but my mother-in-law will handle the rest and, because she is equal parts awesome and crazy, will say, "Oh, no, I don't need help with anything, you go sit down and relax!"
And then the next morning, after we sleep in at my in-laws', we'll head over to my parents to drop off the kids for another sleepover. This time, however, we'll be going home, the car seats empty. I have no idea what we'll do with our free and clear Friday evening, but I have no doubt we'll make the most of it. We'll sleep in Saturday morning and do whatever we feel like doing until my mom and dad drive the kids back to our house Saturday night. I feel kind of bad for being more excited about my husband's full week off from work and school than I am about stuffing my face with turkey on Thursday, but that's not to say I'm not grateful and counting my blessings this year.
My husband still has his job.
We still have our house.
My kid did not fight me one single time about using the potty today, THANK YOU GOD.
You know, the important stuff.
But if I'm GOING to get all overdone and sappy and trite, if I must give one single shout out, one declaration of undying and eternal thanks, it's for my mom, my dad, my mother-in-law and my father-in-law. I am pretty sure -- no, I am one hundred percent positive -- that if I hadn't had them at my immediate disposal this year, and if I wasn't going to have them at my beck and call THIS year, I would be a quivering pile of nerves, a crazy hot mess. I mean, you DID read that my mother-in-law will TELL me to sit on the couch and do nothing for Thanksgiving, right? And that my parents want to take the kids the next night, allowing Phillip and I a night to ourselves?
The awesome thing is that this isn't special. They do this all the time. We see each of our families at least once a week and they take care of us in amazing and wonderful ways. Every time I get the tiniest bit prideful about how well I'm handling this two kid thing, this new grad school schedule, I remind myself that I have TWO sets of FANTASTIC grandparents readily available to help me out. I have friends whose families are across the country -- in DIFFERENT countries, even -- and the mind boggles. And the friends who don't get along with their in-laws, or whose parents tire out after a single family dinner -- I can't bear the thought. I am so unbelievably lucky. There is no way, seriously, NO WAY we could do this full time work plus grad school on the weekends insanity we're doing without our families.
My kids are going to grow up with disgustingly devoted grandparents, people who adore them just as much as their parents do, who hang on their every word and grunt, who marvel at their growth and progress, who are very concerned about the fact that their mother isn't dressing them warmly enough to go out in this weather. They have no idea how lucky they are.
I will gladly camp out on the couch on Thursday, because God knows I have a million more words to write before I even GET to the ending of my "novel" (WHAT WAS I THINKING?). And I will exchange pleasantries as quickly as possible with my own family before escaping for a day of fun with Phillip. I'm guessing I won't appear all that grateful on the actual holiday, but I am, I really am, so very grateful.
I am so hopeful that all of you have helpful lifesaving people in your own lives. Here's to a happy and grateful Thanksgiving.