So I changed up Thanksgiving tradition this year and honestly, I loved it! I spent the morning talking to friends who feel like family. I started to decorate for Christmas and took down Thanksgiving (after we had our version of Thanksgiving meal) and had the best time!
The kids slept late – typical teenagers – and I was ok with it. I woke them up in time for brunch and that was perfect. It was so refreshing on a holiday to not have to get up and make food and bring it somewhere or be rushing around because company was coming. OMG! It was like a dream come true because I enjoyed staying in my sweatpants all day and so did my kids!
But with this choice, I had some backlash. My brother and his family were acting cold. I texted Happy Thanksgiving with love emojiis and received the routine reply minus the love emojiis. I’m no fool. I knew it was deliberate because I chose to not go there for Thanksgiving, so I was being punished. I called to verify and I was right. He, his wife and kids were still hurt and disappointed and his kids said that we don’t love them because we weren’t coming to their house for Thanksgiving.
Let’s be clear. I asked them to my house for Thanksgiving, but he didn’t want to leave his armchair football and beer to drive to my house. So when I told him we weren’t coming, I asked him to understand that I was feeling the same way (minus the beer). But that didn’t go over well because he wanted us all together. He could give the excuse, but I wasn’t allowed to use it too.
He went on to say that it wasn’t really my problem and that he and his sad family would have to process their feelings. He added that he appreciated that I called to acknowledge that they were missing us. Then he said that the kids are getting older and we don’t have many more holidays with them all together. While I get what he’s saying in a guilt riddled way, I felt like I was allowed to choose what I wanted to do this year. And yes, he’s right. It’s for him and his family to process and allow me to do what I feel is needed this year. Because I no longer have a boss. The ex and his family are long gone from my life. I don’t often have my kids for Thanksgiving and we (as a family of 3) decided to just enjoy each other’s company for once on a holiday. And I feel like I deserve to be able to decide how my family and I spend the holiday.
If I didn’t think he’d throw an even bigger fit, I’d have told him that I don’t like going there because his kids fight, dinner’s never ready nor warm when served and although I like hanging out there for a few hours, I really enjoy peace and quiet and hanging out with my own kids. But that’s not going to happen any time soon because honestly, I wouldn’t want to hurt his feelings.
He and I are all we have left for family. Siblings who get along, but don’t. He’s a good guy, but there’s this weird vibe since childhood that gets ugly when I don’t follow his suggestions so he gets annoyed and twists everything. Add to the fact that he continues to defend the ex-husband (I still have a sneaky suspicion they may be a little friendly), and so I don’t feel like I trust my brother completely.
The best part of the day? At dinner my kids told me that this was the best holiday in a long time because even though we’ve been through hell together, we’re still together and so much closer because of all the ugly stuff that the divorce left in its wake. They told me, we have each other and that’s all that we need. It was a great Mom moment!
Thanks for letting me tell you about my weekend. I don’t know if anyone else had family issues this weekend, but I hope you didn’t. And if you did, I suggest staying home and relaxing next year. It’s really wonderful!