Will You Remember Me? Don’t Let Your Life Pass You By, Weep Not For The Memories Remember The Good Times That We Had

Thanksgiving has come and gone here in Canada.

My parents came in for the weekend, flying in on Saturday and left on Monday. It was a short and sweet visit, made better by the fact that we managed to keep it a surprise from the kids until the very moment we spotted them at the airport.

I told Little E and Z we had to go pick up a “special package” and had them guessing the whole trip out to the airport. My Dad FaceTimed the kids while I was pulling up to the arrivals gate and Little E was chatting on the phone with him, telling him all about the package we were going to pick up from the airport when my Dad knocked on the car door. The look on the kids faces was priceless as they both called out his name. They were beyond happy and shocked as they jumped out and gave massive hugs all around. It was perfect.

From the airport I took my parents to two different winerys to do a few wine tastings, you know, since I live in wine country. While we were there I took some beautiful pictures of them with the kids since we don’t have these opportunities often. Once we finally got home, Z toured my Dad around our house since he’s not yet seen it in person, making sure to point out all the irrelevant things like the toaster and the dishwasher etc, as small children are prone to do as tour guides (eye roll). Then of course we went for a nice long walk on the beach which ended with the kids showing off all their stone throwing abilities. We finished out the Saturday with an easy supper, since I’m a crappy cook, and the kids went to sleep and my parents did their Netflix thing, and that was that. Fairly simple.

The stress of the fact that my parents were visiting didn’t set in until Sunday morning. When my mom started noticing, ‘politely’ of course if that’s possible, all the things I needed to do around my yard. So off we were on a trip to Canadian Tire to buy a Edger for the grass and work gloves to pull the weeds. I’m not an outdoor person. At all. So ok. Fine. Thank you. They even bought Little E a new hockey net for him to practice with in the yard, which in theory is nice. But for some reason, it’s the way my mom does it, that makes me feel…not good enough in some way? I don’t know how to explain it. Taking me to the kitchen section saying I need a new roasting pot and it’s her treat. And how “it’s so simple to use, just throw the whole chicken in there with some veggies and onions and potatoes etc and throw it in the oven”. Mom. Thank you, but first off, there is no way my kids and I could ever eat a whole chicken before it went bad. As it is, we share one chicken breast for dinner. Secondly, I do know how to roast a damn chicken. I was married. I did manage to keep all four of us alive with beautifully cooked meals every night. It’s not that I don’t think a roast chicken would be lovely and delicious, it’s just that for the three of us, two of the “us” being kids, it would be a waste. Thirdly, when I do want to roast anything, I do have perfectly good pans at home, they just don’t have lids, so that’s what good old tin foil is for. Just because it’s not the same set up you have in your kitchen, doesn’t mean it’s sub-par.

So fine, we left the store with no roasting pan, but instead she got me a new frying pan since mine was shit. No arguing, she was not stopping, so fine a pan it was. Next, we went to the grocery store, because my mom needed TWO things for her cabbage rolls that she was bringing for the Thanksgiving dinner that night. Ok. Two things. I had brought my small reusable bag and everything, planning to buy TWO THINGS.

Well instead we went up and down basically every aisle, because according to her, my fridge was empty and I had hardly anything in my house.

OKAYYYY. Just because I don’t keep every sauce and dressing imaginable stored in my fridge, doesn’t mean I don’t have food in my house. I buy meat in bulk, and then divide it into smaller portions and keep it in the freezer. I have a huge fruit bowl that I keep on the counter that’s full of fresh fruit all the time. All the snacks, breads, canned things are in the cupboards. And the veggies are in the fridge. I don’t really see what else you need that the fridge needs to be jam packed all the time?

But that didn’t stop her from buying cereal that we already had. Peanut butter in a massive jar, which we not only already had, but I will hardly be able to ever use since the kids can’t take it to school, and bulk peanut butter cookies and chips. As well as steaks. Ok the steaks I can totally get on board with. It was delicious to fry up a steak last night in my new pan.

But there’s still the feelings of judgement. Like C your not doing good enough, so here’s how you should be living.

Especially when we got home and the four of them spent between 30-45 minutes mowing and edging the lawn which I honestly thought was fine. Oh my mom even did look for the dead rat… no longer there. Not sure if that’s good or bad news, but it is what it is.

Anyways. Deep down I totally understand that they are just trying to help and be nice, but on the other side, they were here for vacation, for their Thanksgiving and I wanted them to enjoy it. Not spend all their money and time working. But I guess it just wasn’t my choice.

Sunday afternoon they took the kids to see the new movie Smallfoot, which they said was fun, while I monitored the cabbage rolls in the oven and had a shower, and then it was off to my uncles for dinner.

Dinner was actually one of the most enjoyable family holiday dinners I can ever remember having. It was chill and relaxed and my uncle played baseball with Little E in the yard for a good half hour and Z got to help in the kitchen, which is her favorite thing to do, help. Dinner was delicious, and company was good, my kids were well behaved which always takes the stress off me. Even my Grandpa was fine. Although there were moments I felt bad for him. Yes, me. I felt sorry for my Grandpa. I just felt like at times no one was listening to him. Yes he’s getting old and maybe his stories are a little irrelevant, dosen’t mean he should be ignored. So I made a point to take some time to sit and talk with him (on the opposite side of the room). Even though I really no longer like him, I just felt like everyone deserves to be heard. Despite everything. Besides, I still can’t quite figure out if he remembers what happened or not. Either way, I keep my distance, and always monitor my kids closely around him.

After the meal, we were back at my house by maybe 8:30 and my parents watched a bit of tv while I went to bed, since I hadn’t slept well the night before. I gave my parents my room/bed and I was using Z’s, which was sooooo uncomfortable. Correction, it’s a really comfortable mattress, but I’m used to my super soft one, which is probably awful for my back, but it’s what I’m used to. Z on the other hand is 50 lbs and has hardly made a dent on hers so it was very firm, not my favorite.

Then just like that, Monday morning came and we had to leave by 10am to get to the airport in time. Let’s just say there were more than a few tears shed on Z’s behalf. I had to physically grab her off of my Mom and put her in the car while she acted like a limp rag doll, yet simultaneously crying her head off, impressive to say the least.  I just hoped no one thought I was kidnapping a child from the airport. I’ve had to many experiences with people questioning if my kids are mine or not, so I was not interested in dealing with that again. Once the kids were in the car and my parents had made their quick getaway, I noticed the tears rolling down Little E’s cheeks as well. So I knew I would need a distraction or the whole ride home I would be dealing with a hysterical Z as well as Little E crying. I pulled into the closest Timmy’s and got a few timbits for the kids and we discussed how it’s ok to be sad and have those emotions, but we also have to know how to also calm ourselves down. I reassured them that we can call Nanna and Nonno whenever we like, same as before as well as the fact that we will be going to visit them at Christmas. At least this way, we have the memories of their visit to reflect upon.

And good memories are better than none at all.


-Sarah McLachlan/I Will Remember You-

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Because A Thankful Heart Is A Happy Heart I’m Glad For What I Have, That’s An Easy Way To Start

Ah ‘Thanksgiving.’

This year dinner was at my parents house as per usual. My mom invited my sisters and their spouses/kids, plus my aunt who lives in town here with her family. Then my one great-aunt was also invited. Then, because apparently that’s not stressful enough for my mom, she invited a few other people that she knew were newer to town and most likely had nowhere else to go. And last and very least, my Grandpa showed up.

I’m not a fan of dinners with my family in the normal every day, apart from the fact that my mom is an excellent cook, a trait I definitely did not inherit.  But the actual family time? Not my favorite. So imagine the lack of excitement I had leading up to this “event”

My mom and my sister R don’t get along. My Aunt and my Dad don’t like each other, thanks to a previous business venture gone bad . My brother-in-law D can only stand being around my family for max like 3 hours before stressing out because we are a loud rambunctious bunch (can you believe I’m the quiet one outta the bunch? Yeah you probably can). There’s 6 kids between the ages of 4-11 running around. And to top it off, I’m avoiding my Grandpa at all costs. So you can imagine the thoughtfulness that had to go into the seating arrangements lol.

But even more than that, I realized that my family really doesn’t give two shits about being thankful. There was no going around the table saying the things we were thankful for, even after I suggested it. Twice. TWICE.

I feel like I need to remind you guys that the majority of the group that was present call themself “bible believing Christians” with 2 of them even being Pastors. In fact apart from myself (and my kids), my sister N and her husband D, and my Grandpa (Duh)… the rest of the people at dinner attend church on the regular.  And that in and of itself makes me more confident of the decision I made to stop attending church this past summer.

I’m in no way saying that Christianity and people who claim to be Christians are the same thing. Because they aren’t. The people who attend the church and claim to be Christians are just that. People. They are humans who make LOTS of mistakes. Just like you and me (in the mistake making way, not necessarily the claiming to believe in Jesus same way). But if they really believe what they say they believe, they would be making a continual effort to correct those behaviors as well as being “more like Christ.’

But being Christian isn’t claiming to be perfect. I get that.

But I think sometimes Christians forget that.

Which is part of why I made my decision to stop attending church a couple of months ago. I completely understand that it is not my place to judge, and please know that I’m not placing judgement right now. What I’m making is an observation that I used to make informed decisions for me in my life choices. Previously when I was at any type of church function, whether it was my own church or a different one, I felt the people I met presented an aura of “upityness” if that’s even a word. It’s not. I know that.

But it’s like they always felt like they were better than others. Or they had no issues in their personal life. And for years that has always bothered me. Because I know that that’s not possible. I know that everyone has problems at home or school or work or whatever. I know that marriages go through rocky times. I know that not all of your kids can be straight A students (well they can but it’s not likely), I know that not everyone makes enough money to cover basic bills. Among everything else human have thrown at them in life.

So how is it that nothing was ever wrong for them? Now when I say they seem good all the time, I’m not talking about the ‘joy of the Lord’ or peace or something. I’m saying that there was a fakeness to most individuals I dealt with. I should remind you guys, that I attended church pretty much every Sunday (except while in Kenya, when it was sporatic, and when dating W) of my life, until just this year, and this feeling still stands. This wasn’t a once or twice feeling. This was growing up in it, being immersed in it. Then being able to compare it to the world, and realizing that it’s almost like the Christians I’ve met are always trying to put on airs.

It’s like if their life doesn’t seem perfect, who would believe in, well like I said before, the “joy of the Lord’ or the fruits of the spirit, or even just their God in general?  And if they don’t seem happy enough, then the advice they get from the Pastor or even their other Christian friends while seeking help, is to pray more, or believe harder. So they act like everything is good, so their ‘faith’ seems strong. Seems stressful to me.

On the other hand. to be fair, I have met some Christians who seem very genuine and happy in their religion relationship with God, although few and far between. But to be fair I’ve also met some ‘non-believers’ who are also very genuine and at peace without that same faith.

So there’s that.

But heading back to the start of this VERY off topic rabbit trail, I’d like to tell someone what I’m thankful for, since I haven’t been asked this whole holiday season. I did ask my kids what they were thankful for, but once they were done the doorbell rang, so I didn’t get a chance to say mine. So without further ado,

  • Little E, even with his growing attitude that I’m not sure how to handle, this boy is the smarted, kindest, most handsome little thing I’ve been blessed with. He challenges me with his intellect and we have in-depth conversations that allow me to pass along my knowledge to another human that trusts me completely. This power has caused me to really question what I believe and what do I really know, and what I want other humans to believe. And for that, I can never repay him.
  • Z, oh Z. This bundle of joy is always smiling and dancing and still comes and cuddles me in the morning which I need so much. Most days she’s my only hug and kiss and I’m a very big touchy feely person, so I’m so grateful for her for getting me through this time and being my only source of human intimacy, and many more times to come I’m sure.

You know, I was gonna continue on with the whole friends, job, house thing, but I think I’ll stop there instead.

They are what I’m truly thankful for.


-VeggieTales/The Thankfulness Song-