Thursday, November 23, 2006

For all the turkeys out there

Today is a holiday that’s full of good memories, good food and for most, good company. I’ve made countless construction paper turkeys, pilgrim hats and cornucopias. My eldest child is beginning to learn the Hallmark version of the holiday. I’m pretty sure things didn’t start out so peachy keen. A small sliver of my family came over shortly after the Big Ship (ie the Mayflower). I was able to trace my roots and the one part that hails from England, fled for religious freedom from Manchester and floated their happy little selves to Plymouth, Mass somewhere during the 1500’s. Pilgrims? Probably not. Ironically, Bill has quite a bit of Cherokee in his DNA so a cute story would be that a Pilgrim and an Indian met and fell in love and had little Pildian’s. However, that was a long time ago and a very small part of me. Much more of it is filled with crazy Germans, yodeling Swiss and snotty French people from Paris, but I digress.

When Bill and I were first married we had Thanksgiving at our house. Just he and I and my mom. An entire feast for three people. Between 1996 and now, we’ve managed to morph our tradition into traveling an hour and a half northeast and spending the day with dear family friends who couldn’t be more polar opposites than we are. If you’ve been reading for any amount of time, or worse, actually know us, then you’re aware that we are conservative politically and faith is the foundation in our lives. Bill hails from the southern Baptist convention which he broke away from. I’m from one flower child with a rebellious heart and a preacher’s kid who has abandoned his God. I had a confusing childhood. My parents used to cancel each other’s vote out at the polls each year. Eventually, my mom changed her tune and came back to the faith that her grandma introduced her to as a child. This year, my mom and I and my two children will be eating Thanksgiving dinner with her best friends from middle school and their family. They are uber liberal, some agnostic, some atheist, one is a college psychologist, one is a pot smoking PhD student, one is a lesbian with a torrid past, one is from Canada. Ok, I’m just joking about the last one, she is from Canada but…nevermind. My point is, we love these people. They are our family. There is nothing we wouldn’t do for them. When they bring up politics, we hold our ground. They don’t talk about religion. We talk about our babies and the price of gas and what the troops are doing and when the heck are they going to come home? They’ll ask about Bill and tell me to tell him they love him and hope he comes home soon. They’ll give gifts to my kids and we’ll talk about the times we got together when we, the newer parents were all small and how I said I was going to marry one of their boys. If you would have put us in a social setting where we didn’t know each other, we would probably make small talk for five minutes, get an underlying understanding of the other person’s beliefs and move on. But they are family. We are bonded regardless of beliefs or actions.

This is one crazy group and I love them to pieces.

Isn’t that what Thanksgiving is all about? Laying aside our differences and becoming one family? It may not have been such a smooth transaction in the beginning but I’m sure thankful for it now.

God Bless.


Judy said...

Happy belated turkey to you!

How did the shopping go?

Bill said...

Remember what Tim the Tool Man said, "It's not about being with people you like... it's about being with your family!" I guess we're fortunate that we get to do both. =D