Last year I wasn’t able to celebrate Thanksgiving with my extended family because Lynnette, Madison, and I were in Las Vegas with Lynnette’s family. This year, we’ve been quarantined in our own home because we don’t want to overexpose the twins. Madison went to lunch at my parents’ house while Lynnette and I stayed home with the twins and tried to avoid pictures or videos of everyone else’s Thanksgiving spreads while we ate turkey bologna sandwiches and Kraft mac and cheese.
Oh, it wasn’t so terrible. We were able to set Cole and Avery up on a mat in the living room for tummy time. Avery got the hang of it pretty quickly, but I think Cole’s cheeks and chins might be too heavy for his neck. He just lay there, one cheek smushed up against the mat, that one eye squished shut, making irritated noises. This is not a promising show of athleticism. At one point, they rested on their backs next to each other and locked arms. This stirred a bunch of “Awwwwws” from Lynnette and me, right up until Cole wildly jerked his arm up and cracked Avery in the eye with the back of his hand. Kids!
Lynnette, Abby, Cole, Avery, and I spent Thanksgiving in a seemingly unending loop of three-hour cycles. We wake the twins up, change them, feed them, burp them, then let them tummy time or go back to sleep. As soon as those two milk fiends are asleep, we perform chores like washing dishes and bottles. Today I scrubbed out a toilet and cleaned out the fridge. I also watched the Cowboys take a huge dump at home against the Panthers. I assume it’s because of my usual sleeping patterns, but I’m basically useless during the 11 PM and 2 AM feedings. My mind is mush and I fall asleep every 3 minutes. But I feel alive(r) during the 5 AM and 8 AM feedings because I’d already be up during the work week. Lynnette took a nap this afternoon and thanked me for letting her do so. That’s just insane. She lets me off the hook in the early morning hours, even when Cole and Avery are complete lunatics. I still have no idea how she’s doing it; she got a late start this season, but she’s already way up there in the Mom of the Year rankings.
My mom said she and my dad would bring Madison and dinner to Lynnette and me at 5 in the afternoon. Twenty-five minutes after the hour Lynnette said, “I thought your mom said 5?” I laughed. I was thinking the same thing. I text messaged my mom a picture of two skeletons sitting at a table with the caption “Waiting on Thanksgiving like…” When she got here my mom apologized like a madwoman, but it wasn’t a big deal. I asked her if she liked the picture and she laughed. They did bring a delicious Thanksgiving meal and I enjoyed it thoroughly. In fact, I’m kind of amazed I am still awake. The best part, though, is that both Cole and Avery were awake for Grandma and Grandpa. Both were able to feed the twins and my mom got to watch a replay of the Cowboys game in Cole’s diaper. Everybody wins. Except Dallas.
Tomorrow is Black Friday and for the first time since Lynnette and I got together, we will not be going shopping somewhere. We have already started our Christmas shopping from the comfort of our home, but it lacks the pure adrenaline rush of acquiring exactly what you want amid the heart of darkness. I’m kind of bummed to be honest.
There is always, I think, the obvious and immediate sadness when you’re faced with the truth that you won’t be able to uphold a tradition, even if for perfectly good or even great reasons. What Lynnette and I did today is what we’ll be doing for the foreseeable future, and I don’t know what that means for Christmas, Christmas break, or even where we’re going to put the Christmas tree. But these are all wonderful problems to have.
In no particular order, I am grateful for my health and that of my family; the continued support from the Higa and Pascua families; a job that allows me to talk about and share something I really like; a great class of students; the friends who have never given up on me even as life pulled me away from them; the Mets making the World Series; everyone who has helped us celebrate the birth of the twins with gifts, kind words, advice, and comments about the relative bagginess of the skin under my eyes; the people who engage in conversations with me on Facebook; online Black Friday sales; the medium rare prime rib my dad made; all the Tupperware containers my mom left in our drying rack; Lynnette for being the Michael Jordan of wives and mothers; Madison for being the Scottie Pippen of big sisters; Abby for cutting down on the number of times she takes a dump on the carpet per day; Amazon.com free shipping; air conditioning;
Tonight after dinner Lynnette was getting ready to bathe the twins. “Wait,” I said. “Before you start that, come and help me with this,” I said, pointing at the leftovers on the counter. “Tell me what stays, what goes, and where what stays goes.” Made total sense to me coming out of my mouth (and obviously still does), but my mom, dad, and Lynnette froze and all looked at me with wrinkled brows. “What?” my mom said. “YOU GUYS KNOW WHAT I MEAN!” I said. Lynnette shook her head, my mom laughed, my dad scoffed. That pfffttt! thing that he does. I am grateful for moments like these.