Like any family, as our kids have gown into young adults we have had to learn to share them. Particularly on the holidays. With our oldest married for five years, we are well versed in the trickiness of spreading their holiday time between multiple families, and have tried to allow them to make guilt-free decisions.
With one far-flung son out in Washington DC comes the added complexity of travel and extra vacation time required for these occasions. We fully understood when he chose to spend Thanksgiving with his long distance girlfriend, rather than making the trip home. But what came as a complete surprise was her family’s invitation to all of us to join them. Not just Rich and me, but the rest of our kids and grandkids as well. It was an act of sincere kindness that humbled and excited us. We happily accepted.
As if that wasn’t enough, their generousity enabled us to stay for on an additional day to stretch our scarce time with our son. Many games were played, football games watched, Christmas lights installed (with the help of a tractor – we were in Iowa, after all), walks taken and stories told over more meals shared around the table.
This Thanksgiving gave us many new reasons to be thankful. For wonderful new friends. For sharing the strength of family. For gathering together from far and wide. For those reaching out with acts of kindness. And for Carl and Chelsea, for being the reason it happened.