Our blended family consists of a daughter from each side, coincidentally born the same year, and four beautiful, brilliant grandchildren, ranging in age from approaching twenty years to just twenty months. By the day before Thanksgiving, we know whether we’ll be sitting alone across the table from each other, or what mix of our offspring and their offspring will be joining us.
Benny and Trina, the two oldest of Jerry’s daughter, Kelly, often spend this holiday with their other grandparents’ extended family. A crush of aunts, uncles and cousins fills their household with laughter and joy. Over the years, Kelly has alternated between spending the day with us and joining in their celebration to share the day with her kids.
My daughter, Kristen, finds herself pulled in in two directions during the holiday season – from her father’s home in Alameda, to ours in San Ramon. All the turkey trotting, accompanied by Jackson, her energetic ten-year-old, ignites the annual holiday stress for her that lasts until the end of the year. We ease her anxiety to the degree that we are able, by altering our day of celebration to accommodate her itinerary. We have discovered that the Thanksgiving feast is just as satisfying and delicious on Wednesday or Friday. Further, we remind her every year that if her travels cannot include a stop in the Tri-Valley, we understand.
While we look forward to sharing this day each year with our family, we are content to spend the holiday alone, thankful that our kids are surrounded by love, wherever they decide to go.