Thanksgiving Weekend

November 29, 2014

Part 1

Every Thanksgiving,  as long as I remember, we spent either having guests or being invited to someone’s else home.  After all, this is the Holiday to celebrate the sharing with others.

But we didn’t do that this year.  This year we had Thanksgiving at home.  Three of us, Robert, Jan, and I.  Amanda is still in France.

Holidays were always difficult.  For different reasons. That was the time when I missed my parents most. That was the time when I felt more than ever how Robert differed from his cousins, as if he were moving on a completely different orbit, belonging to another planet.

As Thanksgiving was approaching, I was rather cheerless. I had an underlying impression of not belonging anywhere because I was not being able to forge connections strong and meaningful enough to provide a pleasant and enriching holiday experience for… Robert. As turkey was being roasted, Jan took Robert for a short walk and to a movie theater.  And then we sat down to eat.  Turkey, beets, Brussels sprout, stuffing, bean salad, and a few other dishes for Jan and myself. Chicken fingers, baked potato with cheese, and arugula for Robert. Three of us together. It was not a sad or lonely experience. To the contrary. It was a warm and fulfilling time.  We were together.  We talked a little, we laughed a little. Jan and I shared my first apple pie in15 years.  Robert ate cookies we baked together. We all drank tea after dinner looking at each other, smiling,  and chatting as much as Robert could muster.

It was surprisingly a wonderful and relaxing Holiday.  And then I realized that the thing that I missed most on those other Holidays was… Robert.

When we had quests, or when we were invited, Robert seemed to be separated from us more than on any other day.  I realized that as much as I like company of others, I do tend neglect Robert when the guests come. He seems lost and moves chaotically not sure where he belongs and what should he do.  I don’t help him. Maybe because I am too busy talking to others, maybe because I don’t know how to help him.

It might be that what bothered me most during those other Holidays was that I lost connection… with Robert.

Of course, that is the Holiday’s conundrum.  You should celebrate the closeness of your family and its openness to others.  You should nurture your  inner relations of your family circle and you should cultivate and enforce the ties that connect your family with friends and distant relatives. During my childhood in Poland, it was easy to manage those contradictory undercurrents of celebrating. We had two days of holidays for Christmas and for Easter. One day we spent in a close family circle, the second day was for going out and/or inviting others.  Here in America, I always spent holidays as f it was that second day and never as it was the first.  It was American Holiday of Thanksgiving that allowed me to understand that.

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1 Comment

  1. Jean

     /  November 30, 2014

    Glad you enjoyed time with immediate family – especially Robert.


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