I haven’t posted in quite a while….Been a lot going on between all the various parts of my life…work, my daughter, school, visiting my very significant other already two weeks ago :(…. Then returning sick, leaving her(VSO) sick and arriving home to a daughter who was getting sick. I think we’re all pretty much on the mend at this point, though, VSO got the sickest of everyone…
Anyway my daughter’s dad(to whom I am still married and with whom I share a house…for now) announced that he didn’t much care if we even did anything for Thanksgiving….to which I said nothing, but on whose comment I decided to act. I’m a bit embarrassed to say but until yesterday I’d never cooked a turkey….bad, huh? 52, female, “married” a mom and never cooked a turkey. My dd’sd(dear daughter’s dad) is kinda picky and, possibly because he’s kinda picky, and lived on his own for much of his adult life, learned to and likes to cook. So since our marriage either he’s done the turkey or we’ve been at someone’s house and they’ve done the turkey. After he made his comment the other nite, which was after I’d purchased a turkey at his request, I thought to myself: “Why don’t K(my dd) and I prepare thanksgiving dinner?” She likes to cook and bake…. and has done both cooking and baking with her parents and quite a bit of baking on her own, so I thought she’d be up for the challenge and she was.
So we put together a menu(went a bit crazy in fact), found a recipe for a turkey and gravy especially for those folks who had never baked a turkey before, found another for a different type of green bean casserole, and still another for cracker dressing(made with four sleeves of saltine crackers, veggies and more). K wanted to make pumpkin pie and one of those sweet potato with mini marshmallows dishes, so she found a recipe for the sweet potatoes. She’d already made a pumpkin pie with her dad so that was easily doable for her. We also put fresh cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes on the menu….oh yes and this Strawberry Pretzel “Salad” that I’ve been making for years that is more dessert than salad.
In retrospect….I don’t know what I was thinking…don’t know why I didn’t do a bit more than decide that we didn’t need K’s dad involved to have Thanksgiving dinner and decide we’d make it ourselves. Because, needless to say there was a lot of work involved, as everyone who’s ever prepared one of these big feasts of gluttony, knows. And that wasn’t even the issue because my dd and I work well together. Plus I don’t have a problem serving in a support capacity, which I did plenty of yesterday, for her, as she did for me. That is something her dad and I never mastered. When it’s he and I working together he’s the boss….never been interested in being much of a team…which is fine because our days living together are numbered and hopefully in the not too distant future it will no longer be an issue.
But I digress…The point I’m trying to get at is the fact that we had waaaaaaaaay more food than we needed…enough food to be shared with a few other people and I hadn’t even thought about inviting anyone. So it was my daughter and I eating at the table together and her dad coming upstairs, serving himself and then retiring to his “studio apartment”(not really but it’s pretty self-contained except for a kitchen) to eat his food. That’s pretty much the way it’s been since we’ve lived in our house(six and a half years). But last nite, especially because I’m feeling even more torn than ever since my visit to my VSO, between being with her and being here for my daughter, the ridiculousness of all of this food and not enough people and not that one very right person, to share it with….Well it was just kind of sad….But then I felt guilty because we do have shelter and enough food and I do have my most wonderful daughter. Shelter, food and family…..I have so much more than too too many people have and here I was bumming out.
I think though that my decision to cook Thanksgiving dinner with my daughter was about more than just reacting to her dad’s lack of enthusiasm. It was about she and I creating something together and it was about me taking on a kind of large project in our home, a place where I tend to defer to my d’s d, because of his comfort in the kitchen, managing the project and bringing it to fruition. I was a witness to my own competence, which doesn’t seem like it should be a big deal, feeling competent in my own home, but in fact it is. Now my d’sd was very impressed with the meal and was effusive in his compliments of K. At another point in our lives together….really not that long ago, at all, I would have felt diminished by his absolute lack of acknowledgement of any of my efforts. I could have this time as well, but I reminded myself that I had observed myself in action, as well as my dd, and I had displayed a lot of competence. So I reminded myself of that fact and, also reminded myself to “consider the source”, consider who that person, who seems to never be able to throw a kind word my way, is. And who he is, including his “he”ness, is why our days together are numbered.
As it turns out, yesterday’s meal was, while still living in the same house, a much needed, confidence building, step down the road of independence from my dear daughter’s dad. And that is, unquestioningly, a reason for much thanks giving!!