Happy post Thanksgiving everybody. I enjoy the holiday as I get to spend time with all my children. It is a lot of work, with all the cooking. We make pretty much everything from scratch, and the kids help out. It’s chaos in the kitchen.
When we finally sit down to eat, I’m exhausted. I have a couple (or three) glasses of wine–hey it’s a holiday, and I generally end up with a mad case of the giggles from fatigue and alcohol.
Afterwards, when the dishes are finally washed up, my daughters and I go shopping. For the record, I believe that businesses should be closed on Thanksgiving. However, my daughters are not home all that often, and this is one way we can spend time together.
It is also a way I get to embarrass them in public.
Anyone that is a parent knows that this is an essential parenting skill, passed down from generation to generation. It’s tradition. It doesn’t matter how old the child is-my oldest is 27, my youngest is 12-we parents must uphold this time honored tradition as a means of keeping our sense of humor, our sanity, and of keeping our children in line.
My parents embarrassed me terribly. One of their favorite things to do was to pick me up in their motor home (good bye to my college money…hello to their travel dreams…) in front of my junior high, which was embarrassment enough. But not for them. To add insult to injury, my father, in a flash of comedic brilliance, installed a musical horn. Those bastard parents of mine would begin playing it–over and over and over–to announce that they were there to pick me up. Judas Priest. I wanted to freaking die. The look of complete insane happiness on their faces when I angrily stormed to the door, yelling at them to stop, for the love of god, stop playing the horn..I swear they had horns growing out of their heads.
It was absolutely brilliant and I am considering getting such a horn now to torture my own children with.
Since I don’t have one I have to do the next best/worse thing. It is well known that I will break into dance ANYWHERE. I must admit that this (blank) Christmas music does cut into my groove. SIGH. However, there are a few holiday songs that have a beat, and hey “Santa Baby” is a bit sexy, and well, after a few drinks, I’ve been known to slink a bit to the song. There are some stores that buck the holiday music thing (Hallelujah!) allowing me to fully get into the music. To say that my children are less than amused would be an understatement. WHICH IS AWESOME.
I will put on silly hats, I will talk to strangers, telling them that yes, that sweater looks either amazing, or sister, no, take that right off and try that one over there. I give unsolicited advice. Shopping on Thanksgiving is one big party, as most of the people in the stores are also buzzed (one lady approached me as I was trying on a sweater, and started asking me questions–she thought I was an employee–she was clearly very drunk, and I was like “DUDE! I don’t work here!” We cracked up and I pointed her in the right direction…)
We were standing in line, around 1am, and I noticed all these small children. Toddlers and babies. I loudly said “Who brings small children to a store at this time of night?” My oldest daughter punched me, and pointed out that directly in front of me was a couple with an infant in a stroller… I started giggling… oops… guess I shouldn’t have said that out loud… but really, who does that???…
Finally, my oldest daughter broke and scolded me. She told me to straighten up and behave. I convulsed into laughter, collected myself, and told her that listen, it was late at night, I was overly tired, I had wine on board, and that we were having fun. I said that she needed relax and learn how to have more fun.
I think if you’re going to drag me out shopping all night long, you kind of deserve a little public embarrassment.
I also want all of my children to learn to have fun. To be silly, to be lighthearted, to laugh maybe a bit too loudly, to spontaneously dance, to sing along with the car radio at full volume.
They don’t know that as I was doing all of this during our shopping expedition, I was thinking about my sister in law, dying of breast cancer. My best friend’s son, who nearly died on Thanksgiving a few years ago. My good friend, also recently diagnosed with breast cancer. My good friend who just lost her brother. My friend who just lost her husband. My friend who’s son is very ill.
They don’t know how fragile life is. They don’t fully understand how quickly it can be taken away.
We need to laugh while we can. We need to love while we can. We need to dance while we can.
And be thankful each day for those we love and the ability to do all of those things with them.