Wednesday, November 9, 2011


This was the man's parents house...
and everyone in the clan always gathered at
grandma and grandpa's house when his kids were growing up.
Then grandpa got sick and passed away.
The man and ex divorced.
Their family holidays fell apart once grandpa died.
Especially after grandma remarried and moved in with her new husband.

The man's daughter, R, lamented that she missed big family holidays here.

So the man asked me if I would mind doing Thanksgiving here.
It's nice that he asked, but not required.
What are holidays for if not to have your family together?
Of course we could host Thanksgiving!

I texted all his kids to invite them.
I also invited the man's ex...
She has been a family member way longer than I have.
She belongs with the family.
Besides we have been to birthday parties and 
last Christmas at Jr's and we got along fine.

R dropped in on me today.
She, her husband and kids will be coming.
She wants to come over and help cook...

I still didn't know if Jr and family were coming.
They have been out of state and not gotten back to me.
R said there might be a problem with them.

Her mom, the ex, says she does not want to come.
I make her feel weird.
I'm very sorry about that.
I have done everything I can possibly do to make her
comfortable around me.
I thought we were getting along well.
I guess not.

The man's kids are in a situation where they don't want
their mom to be sitting home alone
on Thanksgiving.
They feel badly and worry for her.
Good kids!

But I do feel bad for R, who wanted to have
a big family gathering here like she had growing up.
That was the whole point of having it here.
R's attitude is that this is her mom's problem.
R wants to be here.

R thinks that maybe Jr. and family and her
youngest brother will want to be with their mom.
I could see that it was hard for her to discuss this,
but she wanted me to know,
so that I would not be
surprised if they did not come...
and to understand why.
I appreciate that.

So far it's the in-laws, his grandson and R's group.
If the others make other plans,
I hope they will let me know...
one way or another.
I need to know to plan my menu and shopping list.
I am ready to start baking goodies!

I am also looking forward to having R and little N
help with the cooking.
Kids in the kitchen crack me up!
Holidays without kids are kind of sad to me.
I miss mine and I'm ready to celebrate with anyone
who is willing to come...
especially the kids!

Yet I find myself feeling odd about this deal with their mom.
This is the man's Thanksgiving too...
and he would like to have his kids around to celebrate with him.
Its sad that she won't let that happen
because it makes her feel odd.

Maybe we need to set up a schedule...
alternate years for holidays.
That way both parents could have their kids all together.
That way neither parent is left totally out.
I had friends as a kid who had divorced
parents who did that.

Still, as adults I do not see any reason that we cannot
all celebrate together.
Can being around me for a day
honestly be that much worse than sitting alone?
I just don't get it.


  1. I hope that the ex and other family members come to their senses, and realize how beneficial and great it would be if everyone got together under one roof. Good luck with everything and I hope the family does all get together for you. Take care.

  2. Thanks Shife! Either way we will have a good time and enjoy each others company.

  3. For some it would be weird, and that's just the way of life, unfortunately. Alternating holidays would be the best - just like when you get married and you have to alternate who you visit, until you have too many kids and don't want to travel during the holidays...

  4. Ah, it's a shame, isn't it? Sorry to hear about the ex's attitude, but excited to hear how excited you are to be planning Thanksgiving!

  5. it's better to not have her there than have her come and make people feel uncomfortable. you can claim the high ground and that's a good thing.

  6. Honestly, I can't say I blame her for feeling weird about coming. Divorce does strange things to people... I don't know for sure, but I don't think I'd be one of those ex-wives who are eager to blend into the new family. That's just me.

  7. NoRegrets- I doubt that it is any weirder for her than it is me. I have been open and friendly without pushing myself on her. She doesn't avoid any family gathering where I will be except here at our house. I find that strange.
    I'm fine with her not showing up, but R is not having the holiday she wanted and neither will the man. That's sad. It doesn't hurt me, it hurts the people she does care about. That's what I don't get.
    I agree, we will have to do rotating holidays since she refuses to cooperate.

  8. Suldog- I am soooo stoked! I love to bake and make meals for people to enjoy. There will be kids and football and all the trimmings! Woot!

  9. billy pilgrim- I suppose you are right about avoiding any discomfort for anyone. She is shooting herself in the foot. Baffles me.

  10. Cube- I guess I think differently now. I had a good friend who had a child with another friend. When they split, they still got together with new spouses for the holidays. Alternating houses,even spending the night sometimes. I thought that this was progressive and asked her how well that worked.
    She very pointedly told me that the holidays were for their son and since they all loved him, it was the right thing to do. Besides they were all happy for each others happiness. I decided she was right.

  11. Maybe if it involved little children, but my girls are big enough now that they can get over it if it were to happen.

    This doesn't have to do with divorce, but Mr. Cube's great aunt wanted to do Thanksgiving last year even though she knew we were doing Thanksgiving at our house with my family. She still wanted us to see the relatives who were in from out of town so she came up with the great idea to have her sister, her brother in law, her niece and her daughters over on Wednesday. We ended up having two Thanksgiving dinners last year and it worked out very well. Yum.

  12. Cube- That's true. They aren't little kids anymore. But the grand kids are. Like I say, its not me who ends up losing out.

    Now there is a good solution! I think I will suggest it to R and let the kids talk it over. I am not opposed to having our meal the day after or on Thanksgiving. That way no one is left out and no one is put in a bad spot having to choose where to be or worry about offending anyone. Thanks!

  13. Well, there's also the "visiting after for pie," if need be. See "round two" in my TCF post. My wife and I alternate years with our families and we aren't divorced. There's only so much you can do in a day. And two full meals seems like a case for Alka Seltzer to me.

    Supposedly, we're having her family here this year, but I (the cook) am still begging for a head count. I mean, fine, bring on the guests, I don't care, but if I have to rent dishes and silverware I want to know.

    I have service for 12, y'see. If there's gonna be 22, well then.

    Somehow I can never seem to communicate these implications with enough emphasis.

  14. Even intact family holidays can be complicated once kids are married and have their own families and their spouse's families to contend with.
    I do sometimes miss the days when my children were small and with me all the time in a bunch.
    Now, we all often do holidays that last over a couple of days, or multiple stop visits on one day.
    I hope your Thanksgiving turns out lovely no matter what you guys finally fix on :)

  15. Cricket- I'm having the same trouble right now. People are not sure where they are going yet. Other people want to know what and how many servings of side dishes to bring. I am fine with them going where they want, but tell me yes or no,
    so I can get my end together. It seems like it should be less complicated.

    I had not thought of the dessert idea. Good one!

  16. laura b.- I know, same here. Bear always does the holidays with her other side, but also finds a way to get here within a day or two. The boys are generally up in the air. It does get to be quite a juggling act.
    It will be fun no matter what. It always is, once the kinks get worked out. Same to you and yours!

  17. You know, it may not be because you aren't getting along, it may have to do more with the weirdness of being with the family in her old home and with her old husband who has moved on. I'm not sure, in her shoes, I'd want to be there either, no matter how much I liked you.