Wednesday, November 26, 2008
The holidays for me are about family and building tradition. I grew up in a small family and moved far from any extended family when I was little, so I get really excited about having lots of kids to build traditions with. When I first realized I would have five kids, my thoughts went instantly to family dinners and get-togethers, everyone bringing home their own families to my house. A real Walton's moment.
Alex drove home from LaCrosse today for the long weekend. I got a lump in my throat as I thought about everyone's college kids coming home. Within a few hours of hanging out with me, Connor, Justin, and Sophie, she had stress hives and was ready to head back to school. I'm sure it wasn't the Hallmark card either of us was anticipating.
I did have a chance to spend some one on one time with Connor tonight while I was making my favorite dessert, the Libby's Pumpkin Roll. We were doing the mixing in bowls that belonged to my grandma; she passed away last year. Tomorrow, Thanksgiving Day, would have been her 84th birthday. I got to tell Connor stories about being in my grandma's kitchen when I was five, eating liverwurst sandwiches, waiting for the good stuff to be done. Connor and I sang Happy Birthday to her, then he said, "I bet Jesus told her that we were singing to her." That, my friends, was a lump in my throat Hallmark moment to be sure.
Whether the holidays bring on stress hives like they did for Alex tonight, or you are missing people who aren't with you anymore, live it fully. Take the time to look at everyone around your table, friends and family, and savor those moments. Don't hide behind the dirty dishes and miss out on the times that come so infrequently. This picture of our five generations almost didn't happen. I had had enough family time and begged to stay in the kitchen cleaning up while they took some pictures. I said I would smile on Christmas, when I wasn't all greasy and food splattered. I Thank God my mom pulled rank. Three weeks after this picture was taken my grandma was gone. She passed on December 20th.
I will be counting my blessings tomorrow, and hopefully putting some lifelong memories in the hearts of my kids. Someday they will be mixing a cake in my grandma's mixing bowls, or using my silverware with the "G" on the handles, telling stories about me. I hope they are good ones.