This year, none of my children are tiny and dazzled by holiday magic. Two of them don't even live with us anymore.
But if I learned anything during the pandemic, it was to get creative in figuring out how to adapt. It was also to remember to open my mind and heart to the idea of pivoting.
This year, we didn't watch the parade on television and we didn't go to a family member's house for dinner, Instead, the five of us from home went out to Pittsburgh where the alleged adults live and we celebrated together out there.
Some observations and highlights from our holiday:
1. Weeks ago, I told the alleged adults that they should feel free to extend a dinner invitation to any friends who didn't have holiday plans. Our son said his friend would be coming and bringing cranberry sauce. Great!
Two days before Thanksgiving our son's roommate texted me to thank me for including her and to tell me she'd bring snickerdoodle cookies and a floral centerpiece (I like this roommate!). This of course was fine and lovely, but I hadn't heard she'd be coming. I asked my son just how many friends would be joining us? Maybe up to three, but probably not all at the same time. Turned out to only be one anyway. Wheee!
2. Our teenage boys are pretty dedicated to wearing pajama pants as regular pants. Our 16-year-old was, in fact, wearing a pair when he asked me, "Was I supposed to pack something nice to wear for Thanksgiving?"
I asked, "No, but do you have something that doesn’t look like pajamas to wear?"
"Yeah, I have sweatpants."
3. Did the children appreciate the forethought that was involved in preparing Thanksgiving dinner in a sparsely stocked rental house? No. Instead, during our holiday meal our 14-year-old asked, "Mom, didn't you pack any ketchup?"
"Ketchup?? No--for what??"
"MACARONI AND CHEESE."
"No, that's not a thing."
"Yes it is! Not even any hot sauce!!?! Total L move, Mom."
4. While the kitchen might have been sparsely stocked, there was plenty nice about the place we stayed at; particularly the location. We were mere blocks from the upper Duquesne Incline station! Yes, I still have my weird obsession with funiculars (fine, inclined planes) and got to take my first-ever nighttime ride!
5. There was no gingerbread this year--nobody even asked (!!) Bittersweet? A little. A relief? A little (it's a lot of work). Will we whip something up if one of them asks to? Of course. Also, incidentally, our 16-year-old son is in the Polytech Culinary Program and is making gingerbread there.
*Please note: I began writing this week's list on Wednesday afternoon. On Wednesday evening, my son began telling us about his school gingerbread and Daddy-O asked "when are we going to make ours at home?" So guess who had to run around and get the necessary ingredients for gingerbread making? This gal!