Thanksgiving is about sharing a meal and spending time with family and the friends you call family. It is traditionally a big meal with favorite side dishes, football, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and many desserts.
This is all wonderful; it truly is. However, it is no doubt overwhelming for hosts or for someone who is a bit introverted. Hosting such a large meal, being a part of a large group, and trying to chase after small kids is just sometimes too daunting. I also feel there is a lot of guilt if you ever say no to any of this.
Guess what? I said “no” to the big Thanksgiving. After my son passed it was all just too much. Don’t get me wrong, there were days when I totally needed a distraction. I clearly still do need to keep busy, outside of caring for my girls, too. However, Thanksgiving is one day where I need quiet and to just be home with my children and husband.
I was first inspired to do this because my son was in the hospital one Thanksgiving with RSV. RSV is pretty bad for an infant in general, and terrible for a low-tone baby with a compromised immune system. At the time I was pregnant with my older daughter making it an emotional time. It was going to be tough in the hospital, but I also didn’t want to miss out on celebrating. I ended up making us a small turkey, sides, an appetizer and dessert and brought it to the hospital.
When I got to the hospital, my son was comfortable in bed, almost ready to be discharged. My husband was watching football and even though we were in the hospital there was a calm feeling. I wasn’t flustered. I wasn’t worried if we’d end up staying in the hospital. There was just a strange calm feeling. We ate our little meal together and that was all. I was thankful we were together for that Thanksgiving and did not know the next would be the last that our son was with us.
My stance on Thanksgiving may not be popular and we do get an invitation somewhere every year just in case (which we very much appreciate) but I just like to be home with my girls and husband. The holidays do remind you of loved ones who aren’t there and those who are your support system. I am extremely grateful for all of them and for our extended family in letting us celebrate in the best way for our family.