Thanksgiving.  Yay.  Woohoo!  NOT.  Thanksgiving in our house means three nights of three different family do’s.  Three nights of packing up kids and husband into a quickly-becoming-too-crowded SUV.  Three very – very! – different family dynamics.

The fun begins!

My mom’s side: lots of people – at least, there would be if everyone showed up & shut up.  What was once a very pleasant gathering has become a stressful cold war.  The allies, the enemies, the enemies-pretending-to-be-allies… the constant under-current of politics! Yeurk.  I could do without that!

Drunk Hyenas

Next we have my dad’s side.  4 sisters with their husbands, 12 kids from 6 months to 14 years, and 2 parents.  By the time we get there my non-drinking dad is already drunk; the creepy, I-love-you-dear-child-of-mine, huggy kind of drunk.

The noise level is comparable to a herd of hyenas.  The heat – OMG the heat!  My still-nursing-the-baby hormones are in small quarters with 21 other bodies.  I’m sweating like the hog that was our dinner (what happened to turkey?) and everyone keeps asking us when we’re getting pregnant again.  Peace and quiet – now THAT would be nice!

Sarcasm in aisle three!

The hoopla is followed by a day off school for Jasmine.  She’s partied out, tuckered out, and on a second wind.  Annabelle is off her schedule and won’t sleep, and the Husband has his first day off in seven – that means it’s time for WoW and relaxation.

I’m getting pissy (wouldn’t you?), and it’s once again time to pack up the too-small SUV and head out for the ‘fun’.  As I bitch complain to the Husband that xyz didn’t get done and I had to do it, his excuse is that he was simply waiting for me to get out of the way.  I huff and puff my way over to the car, I make a snide remark about getting out of his way and instead of giving in to my sarcasm… he smiles. 

That wonderful smile, not unlike the one he gave me 16 years ago – almost to the day.  He is my rock.  He loves me for the woman I am Today.  And today… I am thankful for him, for his love.  I am thankful for our beautiful children, our crazy families, the stupid cats, the damn house that never seems tidy enough and the SUV that feels like a 2-door hatchback.

Today, I am thankful for it all, and I pray for those who don’t.  Today, tomorrow, and the following.  

Now if everyone would just shut up and get out of my way.