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Dated, but not obsolete...

By Carolina Sonshine on 12/04/13 00:31
Charlotte Observer
  • Perfect Pumpkin Pie TAMMY GARLOCK

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It’s never a happy moment when you realize something unpleasant about yourself, particularly on the eve of the national holiday of thanks…

 

 

 

The road to awareness began when John announced we were hosting Thanksgiving for his entire family this year.  In and of itself, it wasn’t such a big deal.  If we had to have it here, fine.  I understood that the sheer physical logistics of everyone necessitated it.  

 

 

 

But the part about serving the meal for lunch instead of supper?

 

 

 

That decree was especially frustrating, since I was the one actually preparing the meal in question.  It put a lot of pressure on me to deliver hours earlier than usual; it also threw my routines and traditions out the window…

 

 

 

Whatever.  I took a deep breath and dealt with my annoyance in the interest of keeping peace. 

 

 

 

I decided if I had to do it, I was going to do it all, start to finish.  I scoured grocery store flyers, clipped coupons and planned for weeks in advance to serve lunch for twenty.

 

 

 

My sister-in-law offered to lend a hand but I politely declined.  She’d been preparing Thanksgiving for everyone (except for us-which was by our choice) at her home for quite a long time; I wanted her to have a break this year.

 

 

 

I also hoped my mother-in-law would enjoy the time off, but she decided to make a large dish of banana pudding for dessert, even after John told her it wasn’t necessary. My plan was for her to relax and leave the work to me.

 

 

 

It kind of bugged me that she insisted on doing it anyway, despite our requests otherwise…

 

 

 

At least it did until I was whipping up a pumpkin pie Wednesday night.  As I stirred in the different spices, I thought back to the first pie I made and took to my grandma’s house on Thanksgiving, roughly thirty years ago.

 

 

 

It felt wonderful to contribute something, however small, to the occasion.  That initial success sparked my eventual love affair with baking sweet confections…

 

 

 

I realized my mother-in-law probably felt the same way about her banana pudding as I did about my pie.  She had a specialty and felt compelled to make a contribution.

 

 

 

I wanted her to take a mini-vacation; she wanted to keep her hand in the mix, so to speak…

 

 

 

After I slid my pie into the oven, I sat down to think over my reasoning and behavior.  I peered into the dark, self-centered corner of my psyche and came up sorely lacking.  While it was true that I really did want them to have a Thanksgiving Day away from the stove, it was also true that I didn’t want anyone infringing on my efforts, particularly at the dessert table.

 

 

 

Seriously?  How ridiculous.  What did it matter if there was one more treat to choose from?

 

 

 

Furthermore, how long would it be before I found myself in her position?  Feeling a bit obsolete and pushed out of the action, whether I was ready to retire or not?

 

 

 

In the future, I’ve vowed to cheerfully accept whatever contribution she cooks up.

 

 

 

Because everyone wants to feel useful, and I want to be a gracious host, in my heart and in my home…

 

 

 

“In everything do to others as you would have them do to you.”–Matthews 7:12

 

 

 

 

 

Tammy will update her blog twice weekly…

 

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