I had my Thanksgiving dinner last night.
It was a funny little meal. Pure Luck requested a Festive Holiday Meat Loaf, which I provided and to which he and the boys tucked in with enthusiasm. For The Princess and for me, there was Festive Thanksgiving Turkey Meat Loaf (made with 99% fat free ground turkey and darned if it wasn’t good! recipe below). Mashed potatoes, delicious Rosemary bread, a big salad and a store-bought apple pie finished off the menu.
But the most important ingredient was the company. I relished sitting around the table with my three children, who are so grown-up now, wondering if #1 Son will be with us next year (who knows where he might be living or what he might be doing?), marveling at how together Snowman seems, and enjoying the way The Princess holds up her end of the conversation now, pausing when the boys tease her but then plowing ahead to make her point instead of getting upset and flouncing away as she might have a year or two ago.
This year it’s their dad’s turn to have them for Thanksgiving, so they are moving about slowly, getting ready to join him this morning.
We’ve had a breach with a member of the extended family, to which I believe I have alluded, one that brought about the inevitable end to most of our joint celebrations, and I’m beginning to realize that this is better for everyone, though I did not like the way it happened. I came to the hard realization that you can’t cling to the old and move on to the new without losing your momentum. Find some aspect of the old that you treasure and carry it along, surely, but do not cling.
I liked having the big family holidays, liked it for my kids, liked it that my former husband’s family wanted me around, or seemed to want me. And some of them do. But it makes no sense, more than ten years after a divorce, to continue permitting the other side of the family the power to reject me one more time, whether actively or passively. How much was that dynamic a reflection of my desire to "win" my divorce? To be the best, most beloved ex-wife ever? I’m not sure exactly what I thought I might gain. In this matter my own agenda remains hidden even to me. I can only say, on this particular day in this particular year, that I know the way things are now feels healthier, if painful.
Pure Luck and I will be off to his great-aunt’s house, over a river or two and down a long country road. We’ll visit his mother’s grave. We’ll hear some family stories and wonder just how much bigger those young cousins can possibly grow! The relatives will invite him to watch the football game, and he will decline, and they all know this, but they ask anyway, because they are sweet people.
I’m thankful today for my new family, in all its configurations, for a second chance at love, for children who bore up through loss and change and have become reasonably whole human beings, for dogs and cats, for friends nearby and far away, for work I love, for a life partner who accepts my foibles and has enough of his own to keep things interesting.
I’m thankful for love.
Wherever you are today, I hope you are feeling thankful, too.
Festive Thanksgiving Turkey Meat Loaf
1 package 99% fat free ground turkey (about 20 ounces)
1.5 cups fresh whole wheat bread crumbs
1 large egg
1 cup skim milk
1/2 large onion
1 cup raw carrots
2 tsp dry sage (or use fresh if you have it)
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Chop the onion and carrots into fine pieces, or process in food processor (I did this and it worked beautifully).
Mix all ingredients well in a large bowl.
Bake in 9X5 loaf pan in 350 degree oven for 1.5 hours.
Cut the meat loaf into 6 pieces, 3 points each. (I kid you not. I used the Weight Watchers online tools to do the calculations.)