We Are Family
Thursday, December 10, 2009 9:03 PM
by Abigail Green of “Diary of a New Mom”
Well, it’s that time of year again – the holidays! And this year, we did something crazy for Thanksgiving. Something revolutionary and shocking. We … wait for it … STAYED HOME. I can hear your stunned gasps from here.
We don’t live near our extended family. Both my husband’s and my parents live more than a 6-hour drive away. Even if we fly, the driving to the airport, the parking, the waiting, the actual flight, and the collecting of lost luggage takes at least that long.
Every holiday, I grumble about it. I swear it will be our last trip. Next year, I say, they can come to US. Now to be fair, some relatives have at one time spent all or part of a holiday with us. But since we’re the only ones here and there’s a lot more of them up there, the majority usually rules.
So this year, with a preschooler and a baby and months and months of sleep deprivation and work stress and illnesses wearing on us, we stood firm. We just said no to holiday travel. The grandmothers’ sighs and tears and guilt trips did not move us. Until…
A few days before Thanksgiving my husband said, “I’ve been thinking. What if we got up really, really early on Thursday and drove up to my parents’?” Are you KIDDING me?! If there’s one thing we’re not now that we have 2 small children, it’s spontaneous. What about the traffic? And the dog? And the sleeping arrangements? Dear God, we’ll lose EVEN MORE sleep!! “Forget it,” said my husband, defeated.
For about a day, I seriously considered it. My husband comes from a large family; holidays are big in their house. And all those poor, sad grandparents, deprived of their youngest 2 grandchildren, who were changing by the day. It’s enough to break your heart.
But then I snapped out of it. It might have been the hideous colds the baby and I developed, it might have been the traffic horror stories on the news. It might have been the realization that, hey! We don’t have to always travel to visit family because WE are our own family now. Just the 4 of us.
As it turned out, we spent a very happy Thanksgiving day with some friends in town. (Followed by 2 days on the couch recovering from our hideous illness and the sleepless nights it caused.) It was the right decision, and I’m glad we stuck with it. And it just so happens that my in-laws are coming to visit US this weekend. I can hear your congratulatory cheers from here.
Abigail Green is a freelance writer and mom to two boys, ages 3 years and 9 mos. She blogs about the lighter side of life, writing, parenting, and more at http://diaryofanewmom.blogspot.com/.
Filed under: holidays