We did something very different this year for Thanksgiving. And it made me realize how thankful I am for this dynamic.
and I are blessed with lots of extended family. And I do love them and
somewhat like them for the most part. Between us we still have five
grandparents living, along with numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, and so
on. We have parents, step-parents, brothers and a niece and a nephew.
with our extended family have always been important to us. The majority
of our family vacations are either with family or to see family that
live in various parts across the country. I'm so glad that our children
have gotten the opportunities to meet and build relationships with so
many of our family members over the years.
every family is perfect...certainly not ours. And there is nothing like
the holidays to shine a bright light on family dysfunction. On my side
it's the fallout from a bitter divorce. On Phillip's side it's one
family member who raises a lot of drama and changes the 'rules' every
year. I'm a people pleaser. Phillip's pretty laid back. So for the most
part we just go along with everybody else, bending and shifting at their
whims and doing our best to keep the conflict down and keep things
year as the rumblings started, Phillip decided we were done with the
drama. We were going to start our own tradition and give our kids a
stress-free Thanksgiving to remember and stay home. Unfortunately our
choice this year wasn't exactly popular with some family members, but
Phillip said not to worry and let him deal with it. So I did and he did
and all went well. We had a big family breakfast before vegging out on
the couch to watch the parade. Afterwards we put up the Christmas tree
followed by a movie while the turkey finished cooking. We had all the
favorites -- turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberries, pumpkin pie followed
by an evening of playing board games and card games. It was a perfect
This morning my oldest remarked it was the best
thanksgiving ever and could we do it again that way next year. Her
younger sister seconded her request. It warmed my heart to know how much
they enjoyed spending the day as just the four of us.
is no doubt that this dynamic has brought Phillip and I closer. But
it's also brought us closer as a family and helped us realign our
priorities and time. It's sharpened our communication skills. Because of
this our kids seem happier than they were a few years ago. There is
less drama and more smiles and lots and lots of talking. They share
things with me that I would've never dreamed talking to my parents
Not too long ago our oldest brought a smile to
my face that when she told me that she no longer worries about her
parents are ever divorcing like she used to and she hopes to have a
marriage like ours some day. Now I didn't smile because I hoped she
really had a marriage exactly like ours someday. Our kids don't know
about our dynamic and there are no plans for them to ever know. Our kids
aren't seeing the bruises or rules or toys or their mother tied up
while their father spanks her. No...all they see is the love and respect
this dynamic has brought and that's why I smiled.
this week I've found myself very thankful for what this dynamic has done
in our home. Despite the sicknesses over this past year and the bad
days and the 'off' days and steps backwards. Despite how hard it can
sometimes seem. But it's all worth it and I am so very very thankful.
Thankful for the deepening bond between Phillip and I. And especially
thankful for how it's bringing our little family closer together.