Here in the US, we are coming up on another Thanksgiving, and for those of you coming to this site right now, thanks is not something you may feel like giving.
Before I say anything else, I want to assure you: That’s just fine. You don’t have to feel thankful. You don’t have to count your blessings every single moment. You can, when you need, grieve for the holiday you thought you would have, either glowing and pregnant, enduring jokes about eating for two, or with that new baby, walking into relative’s home to the exclamations over the new family member.
Do not feel you have to save face. Do not feel you have to hide how you feel. And if your family gathering involves pregnant women or new babies, this may be the year to volunteer in the kitchen. I always start cutting onions if I can’t control myself, for the concentration and the excuse for tears.
If you find yourself in a tough situation, look around for a sympathetic relative. Maybe it will be the boys, and you can run off with them to watch a football game rather than fuss over the small children. Maybe it will be a forgotten aunt. Take time to really get to know her this year.
Don’t expect that everyone is going to understand. Your sister-in-law might feel slighted if you don’t want to hold her newborn. Walking out of the room during a discussion of what to name a baby might cause a little stir.
Try not to get into any confrontations about it. Just smile and make a simple excuse. Plan ahead so you can bow out of uncomfortable moments gracefully by maybe preparing some complicated dish of your own.
Your years will come. Have faith in that. And while you’re washing dishes or stuck watching UT beat the Aggies, think ahead to that, to your turn, and even if your family thinks you are being dramatic or over emotional, they are your family. You were born into it, and your future babies will be too. Love them even if they don’t understand.