Late last night, BIL2 called to cancel his and the outlaws’ visit for Thanksgiving. My FIL is in a lot of pain and can barely get out of bed. FIL is not getting in a car to go anywhere. You can imagine how angry I was to hear this after planning and shopping — angry, mind you, not surprised. I pulled out every argument rationale I could conceive to convince WineGuy to go alone to see his parents for Thanksgiving. WG would hear none of it. I went to bed angry, and that’s never a good thing.

I tossed and turned all night, trying to think of a way to break the news gently to my mother. I didn’t want to disappoint her, and I didn’t want to her to feel neglected and alone on Thanksgiving. In the end, I called her and told it to her straight: FIL is unwell; no turkey in the Zone this year; cancel the trip over and the hotel; we will bring Thanksgiving to her on Thursday. Mom tried to give classic guilt — “just bring me a little food” — but I told her I would bring her a home-cooked Thanksgiving meal.

Today, in the midst of shlepping Wizard to the DMV for his learner’s permit, getting an estimate for new flooring upstairs, and an amazingly thorough first consultation with a new dentist, I managed to prepare half of my Thanksgiving dishes. I convection-roasted a turkey, per the recommendation of one friend. I mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes. Cranberries and fresh oranges whirled around in the food processor and voila cranberry relish. Two pots burbled away to become turkey stock for gravy and stuffing. However, my kitchen was a tsunami zone of pots, wooden spoons, knives, and vegetable peels. When I raced out the door to that dentist appointment, I called to Wild Thing, “It’s your day for dishes, please clean up after me.” (Normally, I clean as I work, but I cooked like a woman possessed today.)

The dentist appontment took 90 minutes, and then I ran to the butcher to pick up the original turkey I ordered. The butcher greeted me warmly as I entered the shop and then immediately noticed the crazed look in my eyes. I explained that I was now cooking and transporting Thanksgiving dinner and needed any pointers he could give me. G*d bless Leonard: he totally talked me down off the culinary ledge! At last, I was confident my food would travel well and still taste good.

Feeling calmer, I called the boys as I drove home. No, WT had not washed the posts and dishes. No, Moose had not emptied the dishwasher. No, Wizard had still not cleaned the litterbox. Aieeee! I wanted to come home to some semblance of order. Apparently, not one child understood that message or my parting instructions hours before. Nevertheless, they got to work and cleaned up pretty well. Moose was particularly helpful; WT worked grudgingly. By the time WineGuy walked in from work, the kitchen looked much better, and dinner was underway.

WineGuy pulled me aside to speak with me about Thanksgiving plans. I told him I reached my mother and that she understood my situation. WG, close to tears, thanked me profusely and apologized for the awful situation. We mapped out our schedule for Thanksgiving Day, and WG agreed to tell his parents how we would manage things. Later on and of his own volition, WG called my mother, thanked her for understanding, and invited her to come see us another weekend — hopefully in two weeks.

Tomorrow will bring more cooking but fewer distractions. Wizard and I will go back to the DMV, where he will hopefully pass the whole written test for his permit. I’ll get (what’s left of) my nails done and will probably wreck them working in the kitchen. I will not be cooking dinner tomorrow, so WG better make us some other plans!

I’m not averse to change; I just like to plan for it in advance.


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