Well another Thanksgiving has come and gone. As the years go by, I’ve begun to accept that normal is not us. Everyone has their own family quirks, right? I realized the night before Turkey Day I was coming down with a cold, and maybe that just set the tone for this holiday. I can’t complain, I had no responsibility for dinner, mom was hosting, we were responsible for dessert. She invited her friend and the friend nephew and friend. Very charming people, my kids ages 7,10 and 11 kept to themselves.
Long time ago I dreamt that parenthood was different, not sure what I was thinking but something where my kids would be friendly to guests.
Then I recalled our genetics….
Neither my husband nor I had the extrovert charming gene.
I recalled at recess in 3rd grade I would pace the cement play area, and talk to no one. I was content to be alone, and my parents were anti social as well.
The biggest family gathering we would hold would be the 4 of us, plus my aunt. All our extended family was in South America and looking back I didn’t feel like I was missing out. When I got married I married into big family, and as my social skills had blossomed thanks to leaving hs for a summer program, and started to relate as more of an ambivert I began to appreciate the “bigness” of extended family.
How nice to learn of all these interesting people related to my husband, oh the dynamics of it all.
Then I had kids.
Well when the kids were little I have to say it was easier as well, kids don’t care too much of the dynamics of personalities, they just deal with whatever comes. At least that was what it seemed to be for me.
Then… oldest turns 9, and things changed. Depression, anxiety, and a variety of mental issues peppered the next few years.
Puts a spin on the holidays, as a worried mother you have to adapt, and cope and help your children cope. Another layer of responsibility happens, where you are managing expectations all around. You get through it, and sometimes you take a peek at the normal people, or seemingly normal people, and a small hint of jealousy creeps up as they share their pictures of joyful gatherings with perky outgoing kids all around the table.
Then you realize, hey that’s not the norm, we all have varying degrees of recluses, and a spectrum of personalities, behaviors, it’s just not highlighted on facebook.
I’m guilty of it as well, I never post the dysfunctional moments of our life on fb. I’m never honest on fb about how much crying happened on a holiday. It’s not pretty, I don’t want the attention, but at the same time, I want the “yeah, we’ve been there”…
So I might post on a more anonymous venue, like twitter, for me it’s like my little vent place, and it works…
So anyway, if you have crappy holidays, yeah, we’ve been there.