Saturday, November 26, 2011

Are These the ‘Good Old Days?’

As we were raising the kids, I assumed that it was ‘our time’ because the older generation told us so.  Yesterday, on Thanksgiving Day, I heard myself parrot this to my Goddaughter, Katharine, who is pregnant with twins.
“I’m sure it’s going to be hectic, honey, but try to enjoy it.  It’s your time and it goes so fast.”
Then I wondered if it’s really possible to press pause and soak it all in.  Can we recognize ‘the good old days’ as they are happening?  Another thought popped into my head. Something may be at risk here.  If we look  back and label ‘the good old days’ will it stop us from believing that ‘the best is yet to come?’
I poured myself another glass of wine and noted Katharine was drinking water.  I loved being pregnant, (when else can you do nothing and be so productive – after all, you are making a human being!) but I love wine, too.
I left the kitchen, walked into the living room, and looked at my son, a 30 year old man.   I see him and I see the future and that feels right.  I don’t miss Dougie, my little boy, I guess because it was a gradual growing.  Doug caught my eye, winked and smiled. After dinner, our plan is that he and my nephew and I are off to Atlantic City together.
Six Thanksgivings have passed since my husband died and we never picked up our old tradition for that day again.  Each year my kids and granddaughter and nephew and I are ‘taken in’ on Turkey Day by my very close friends Connie and Trifon and their tribe.
At first we felt like orphans, our noses pressed against the window, but we’re comfortable now and tease them – “Hey, can we have a drumstick to go?  We’re spending the rest of the holiday at a Blackjack table.”
So, I question tradition.  What is it, after all when this year even our substitute tradition has changed.  And, it wasn’t just the skipping off to a casino…
This year my granddaughter, Skylar spent Thanksgiving with her father, and his girlfriend and her family complete with new ‘cousins’ and ‘grandparents.’  To spin the positive for Sky I tell her that the more people who love her, the better, but I leave off how permanence can be fleeting.  My little girl is aware of this already, though.  At seven, she learned it way sooner than I did.
My daughter Jacki opted to be with her boyfriend’s family for the holiday.  It’s good for her to watch and learn the dynamics of a possible new brood.  And, next year, who knows?
So, did I have a happy Thanksgiving this year?  It was fine enough.  Maybe the trick is to just keep making memories and maybe one day we may actually refer to today as ‘the good old days.’