You know, it’s funny how it all works out sometimes. Sometimes God’s timing is so perfect, you can’t help but know he’s chortling.
So, just the other day I ranted about my feelings toward my wonderful family. I was pretty stressed about the whole Thanksgiving thing, and I’m sure that tied in with the whole prehypertension fun. I’d already decided (along with my husband) that we were not going to try to have a big family Thanksgiving. I wasn’t going to do anything special for my birth family, and trying to enjoy a meal with my husband’s family is like trying to enjoy a root canal. You can hope and pray that something will numb you for the unpleasant experience, but you know you’re in for an ordeal.
Then, lo and behold, my really good friend (who actually doesn’t read this blog) up and messages me on Facebook, asking if we would like to have Thanksgiving with her little family. My daughters were very enthusiastic about the whole idea, being that her daughter is one of their very best friends. My husband liked the idea because he gets along with my friend, and I liked the idea because I wasn’t related by blood to anyone who’d be there.
Also, a huge part of me desperately wanted to celebrate Thanksgiving with others. Even though I pursued avoidance tactics with family, I didn’t truly want to be “alone.”
I wanted to be able to celebrate with friends. But do you have any idea how difficult it is to celebrate Thanksgiving with friends? Everyone celebrates with family. And if they don’t have close family, they’ve already been adopted by another family. And most people have two or three families! And they tell you the crazy stories about trying to make 18 Thanksgivings in one week.
And you sit there and think, There is no way I’m going to ask to come to someone else’s Thanksgiving. I mean, that would be… awkward. Seriously awkward.
So, instead, I planned to go do something special with my kids and husband and pointedly *not* *do* Thanksgiving. After all, my kids don’t like turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, peas, cornbread, stuffing, cranberry sauce, or gravy. They could dig the carrots, rolls, pumpkin pie, and coconut pie. So, why not just plan a meal they’d enjoy, right?
And then the thing I’d been wanting for months fell right into my lap. It was a gift from God.
And then God snickered.
Because the very next night my brother called. Okay, now, you don’t understand. My brother has not called me in months. The last time we spoke, he hung up on me after saying that he had kept secrets about my parents moving abruptly from their assisted living.
He told me that he was going to be having Thanksgiving at his in-laws, and wanted to know if I planned to “take Mom and Dad” for Thanksgiving.
Okay, so now I am suddenly back in the picture? Just because they’re inconvenient? I don’t think so. I mean, really, all he would have to do is transport them to his in-laws and back. It’s not like he’d have to (heaven forbid) make anything or be in charge of anything for Thanksgiving. Mom and Dad have always been welcome at my brother’s in-laws. Always. And they’re all crazy enough to fit in well together.
In all honesty, I’ve often hosted Thanksgiving. Him? Never. I’ve taken care of Mom and Dad when he refused to step up to the plate. Multiple times. Now, after he’s been keeping secrets and aiding and abetting my drugged-out emotionally infantile brother, now he asks me? Yeah, no. You wanted to get involved; now you’re involved. You wanted me out of the picture; I’m out of the picture. Now people might have a chance to see what it’s really like with a little bit of separation. Either it’s going to make them wish I was still part of the family, or it’s going to make them insanely happy that they don’t have to deal with me any more.
So, do I have a point in all this? Maybe. I think it’s that God is really looking out for me.
And I really think that God’s timing has him rolling up there, laughing so hard his sides ache.
Because if it were me, that’s what I’d do.