And they are the Yablonskis, them who raised me. Yablonski is a fictional surname my parents made up, probably in a sickly-sweet smelling smoky room with Jimi carrying on in the background. By the time I came around, the only smoke was Mama exploding the green bean pan, and the soundtrack was Michael Card and Twila Paris. I'm glad they got saved, but I think I might have gotten the musical short end of the stick. Anyway, Yablonskis. That's us, the ever-expanding family, with the same joie de vivre passing down the generational lines.
Now I live 700 miles away from them, and for the last 2 years I haven't been "home" for Thanksgiving. So I gather my little crew and friends and neighbors and I try to cook and capture that feeling of belonging, of being known. And it does feel like a holiday, like a celebration, but it's not the same. Sometimes it seems like I am only completely me when surrounded by my mom and my siblings.
Adulthood. On one hand I am thrilled to be able to drive my own car and have my own family and do all the grownup stuff, but part of me will never stop wanting to be Mouse, the littlest one, watching the big kids and Daddy beat each other over the head with wrapping paper tubes. The littlest one, when the big kids went home and out with friends, the littlest one sitting in between Mama and Daddy, eating popcorn and listening to them talk about their plans to fix up the place.
But life changes, and growing up is inevitable, unless you choose to be a perpetual child, which is a whole 'nother topic. So I will wake up early and I will cook the ham and the pies, and I will be thankful that God has given me children, and time. And I will miss my roots, even as I put down roots for my little ones. And I will be thankful.
*not exact number