I suppose there’s a first time for everything. The first time a baby sleeps through the night. The first time a child goes to school. The first time your now adult child goes to college. Then, for some of us, there’s a first time to be apart for special days and holidays. This year is one of those “first times” for us. It’s the first time we are apart from all of our grown kids for Thanksgiving. Until today, we have spent Thanksgiving with at least one or all of them. This first time is one I won’t forget.
My daughter called three days before Thanksgiving asking how to prepare her first turkey (work preventing her, her husband and my other son from celebrating on the actual day, Thursday). I’m thankful for FaceTime and other forms of messaging and video chat! I was so happy she wanted my advice, so proud of the fact that her dinner was devoured, and sad to be away from her.
The first time one of our children wasn’t with us for Thanksgiving was years ago, in 2004. Our oldest had moved Stateside to finish his education and I wanted nothing to do with Thanksgiving. I finally gave in when my husband reminded me there were several more members of the household looking forward to a Thanksgiving celebration. Grudgingly, I cooked and complained. Thanksgiving came and went and that year I wasted an opportunity to give thanks for having a son who loved God and was able to make such a huge transition from living and growing up in Africa to attending college in the USA apart from us.
It’s been said that the love you have for someone can be measured by the pain you feel in their absence and there’s truth to that statement. While I feel a deep sense of emptiness that my three older kids, their spouses and my grandson are far away, at the same time I feel so proud that they have grown into responsible adults who work to support themselves, love one another, and love the Lord. I know there’s nothing more I could ask for as a parent.
Do I miss them? Yes! Do I wish we were together? Yes! But right now we aren’t together so rather than spend time mourning what I cannot change, I will rejoice over what I have: fantastic, responsible grown children, two who are married to awesome spouses, a two-year-old grandson, a husband who loves me, and an 8 year old who is the light of our home.
It’s high time to just be thankful.