This will be the first Thanksgiving in 25 years that I have not spent with my family. I'm sad. And, I'm excited. Can you be both?
I knew this was coming. When you get married, you have two sets of parents, both who want to see you over the holidays. You and your spouse are the chew toy that two lock-jawed pit bulls are fighting over. Well, not really, our parents are more like harmless Lab puppies lazily playing with a toy, with one happily giving up when he rolls over and discovers an equally interesting dust bunny.
Both our parents invited us to Thanksgiving festivities. We tried thinking of a way to see both, and make both family celebrations work -- I was not quite ready to give up on the idea of seeing my parents on Thanksgiving, as I had for my entire life. But, after realizing that the amount of driving and time wasted in the car just didn't make sense, we decided to visit the Haynes family, since the Sullivans are coming to visit our house for Christmas. My parents lovingly understood, bellied up, and started playing with the other dust bunny, my sister.
So, we are headed today to Eldorado for my first Thanksgiving with Tanner's family and our first real holiday as a married couple (no offense, Halloween and Veteran's Day). Like I said, I'll be missing my family, but I am also very excited and looking forward to my first experience as a "real" Haynes at a real Haynes family holiday get together. I'm not just the girlfriend tagging along, I'm a real part of the family. I think it will make the fact that I'm a married woman seem even more real (I know, this should have sunken in by now). The food will be different, the traditions, the house, the faces I see, but I know the feeling will be the same as the one I've always felt: warmth, love, thankfulness, and happiness. And Tanner and I have a LOT to be thankful for -- each other, our new marriage which has changed and blessed our lives, and the loving and selfless families we've each been adopted into.
For you married folks, I'd love to hear how you handled holidays as newlyweds, and what the experience was like for you. I know this is going to be the first of many wonderful Thanksgiving with the Haynes. I'm looking forward to the new experience, and willing to take with it all it brings -- the happiness and the longing. I think it will make me appreciate my new AND old family more than I have before.