So often we dwell on the little things that drive us crazy, the bickering between siblings that feels like our skin being grated down a cheese grater or the way one child whines how unfair it is that he has to help, even though he never leaves the couch while he does it, when really what we should dwell on is the memories that are being made and the story of family we are creating.
This hit home for me this Thanksgiving week when driving home from a five day trip to Mammoth. As we packed up to leave early Thanksgiving morning the boys began their traditional roles. Keaton up early and ready to conquer the world with his father, while Kellan who becomes testy when awoken quickly, sat quietly and whimpering on the coach sure he was going to die from a mild cold. I became aggravated with Kev, as I usually do, because he spends a humongous about of time cleaning the condo and making sure it is spotless, why at home he cannot even lift a glass to put it in the sink. As my aggravation grew, from watching Kev rewash the kitchen table, after I had practically disinfected it moments before, I caught myself in a moment of clarity……. How lucky I was to have my whole family together.
Usually we have many people that join us for skiing, fishing or the other adventures that can be had in Mammoth, but this time it was just us.
Sure we split when interests diverged; Keaton and Kevin went skiing and snowboarding, while Kellan and I watched movies. Keaton found friends in the area who helped him build a igloo. The three boys went to the jacuzzi while I enjoyed some "me time" knitting in front of the fire. But we did come together in the evenings to eat and visit and we even spent one whole day in front of the fire doing nothing as a storm eliminated everything in sight.
This unity reminded me of other vacations in our past; first with just Kevin and I as we learned to work together as unit while navigating new roads and a new relationship, then when Kellan came along and we enjoyed anew this same adventures through the eyes of child, and as the dynamics changed even further when Keaton joined the ranks and cries of “how much longer?” become dispersed with “He’s on my side.” But now when I look at those vacations and now in those comments that brought me angst I now only see joy at what a wonderful family I have.
Soon Kellan will leave for college and our dynamics will change once again. O’how a part of me wishes I could keep everything the same. How I will miss him in these moments of family and even when he does fill the void it will never be exactly the same. However, I realize from the past that not only is that impossible, but that I wouldn’t want it to really, for it is these moments that will fuel his family. Hopefully he will remember them with joy just as I have, and it will make him want to recreate them with his wife and children. And IF we are very lucky we will be included in those memories as grandparents.
So as we left I clicked a picture in my mind, (minus the bikering and whining ) of this moment in time and what joy I have had this week. On a second thought, I remember it is Thanksgiving and how truly blessed I am, may every day of the year be one of Thanksgiving.
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- Karen Rothfus
- Alta Loma, California, United States
- I am a wife of 28 years to Kevin, a pilot, a mother of 22 year old Kellan and 15 year old Keaton. I am caretaker to a zoo of animals including dogs, cats, chickens, fish, birds, turtles, etc. I am a gardener, a cook, a writer, a painter, a teacher, and I am truly blessed to be able to live life the way I wish too.