How Many Thanksgivings?

It’s Thanksgiving Eve Eve, and I am reclined having completed a solid round in the kitchen this evening. Not only does tomorrow mark a new chapter in my life (will share more after the morning), but it is also the first of new traditions for my blended family.

In consideration of what has worked well the past two Thanksgivings since blending our family (keeping it simple and feasting with just us 7) and what has not worked so bueno (painting the house the weekend before Thanksgiving), I personally have curated what I think is a really great third attempt. It’s all about paying attention and applying what you have learned. For example…

Our first Thanksgiving, David said was the first Thanksgiving he enjoyed in 20 years.

Our second Thanksgiving? David called me the Pie Police. (And even though I was, I cried.)

This Thanksgiving? I know a few things going in.

One of the things I know is two of my step kids vocally share their love for Christmas like nothing I have ever experienced. They make claims about Christmas and its spirit and how everything is just good and happy.

Last year, Maddox said he “loved Christmas so much he wants to start celebrating Hanukkah, too”.

So – whereas I typically get the tree the second week of December (or, yikes, Christmas Eve…), this year? The tree is priority.

We are getting it tomorrow. We are doing the tree, having the music (which started tonight), lights, pies.

I also know that Thanksgivings, like any one day a year holiday, are sacred.

I often experience myself on Thanksgiving in consideration of the Erins of the past. Thanksgivings where I have been fake tanned & blonde, preoccupied, unaware. Thanksgivings where I was figuring out relationships or how to make a turkey.

Though the actual number of days of my life seem so many, when it comes to Thanksgivings: I have had 40. That’s actually not that many.

You can sit and breathe however many rounds of breath in a single meditation or as your prepping dinner and honor each year whose experiences are stored in your body. Buried in your mind, woven in your tissue and your worldview. You can feel them each.

I feel strong this Thanksgiving.

Not only do I know how to brine a turkey, I know how to use the ways I have grown to love better, be more present and maybe be okay if people get into food early.

I try to remember to think of the Little Red Hen. She would fuss at people to not get into the food. Then a disaster would strike and wipe out all the food and so then nobody could eat it anymore anyway and the lesson would be, be kind. Why fuss when nothing is guaranteed?

Because nothing is guaranteed, is it?

Except for how good my turkey is going to be.

Gosh, I hope I didn’t just jinx that.

Will share tomorrow about my life-changing event. :) erin

Becoming a Stepmom @ the middle of sorting bins Webster 7.18

Been writing and processing the words “my husband” more than “being a wife” in recent weeks.

Reason for that is actually super clear to me. I became a wife before I met David. In the 7 years I was divorced or maybe 8, I became a woman who trusted herself, who learned to listen, who gave space to others, who took care of herself.

In those things, I became ready to be somebody’s wife. Those journals are where I learned that. Now I can marvel at the tide of him being husband… not boyfriend, not fiancé… husband. It’s fascinating.

But as the headband went on this morning and the sleeves rolled up, I found myself excited and motivated to get the house ready for the kids. Not the girls. The kids. Not Ellen and Lucy. Ellen Aria Lucy Kara and Maddox. 15, 14, 12, 11, 7.

I get to have a 7 year old again :)

I have gotten the house ready for the girls plenty of times. Week on / week off always afforded me a little Sunday practice of tidying and setting.

But this? This new ball game of getting the house ready for the kids has me daydreaming about decorating for Christmas with Kara, setting up Aria for supreme comfort and making the perfect balance of boy / man space for Maddox’s Star Wars toys and legos.

I’m setting aside the cookie and pancake stuff. Remembering the middle girls new love of “no bake chocolate cakes” and thinking of how to make their ingredients set up for them.. not just for the novelty and joy they would get from their own basket, but to prevent the surprise of all the sudden being out of vanilla when I go to use it.

It’s fun. David is down piddling in the shed and the yard. I’m about to put tunes back on and continue my evolution into stepmom, mom, mom of 5, “Erin”.

Christmas will be fun this year!
Current Sitch. :-/