This year, if I’m being honest, I wasn’t really feeling Thanksgiving… Not in a “I’m going to decorate for Christmas right NOW!” way, but in a “Meh, why bother?” kind of way. With John being deployed, I just thought about all that food prep, all of those left overs, and really just me to eat it… (History has shown me that my boys aren’t big on the Thanksgiving food.) and it didn’t seem worth it. All of our friends are going home for Thanksgiving, so we’ll be by ourselves for the actual day. It was all kind of a bummer.
However, I recently got a big reminder that Thanksgiving isn’t about the food, but about acknowledging what you’re thankful for.
I’m sure I’m not the only spouse that feels sad around the holidays with their husband deployed, so it was nice to be able to go to a Thanksgiving meal with my army family. It kind of broke up the lonesomeness of the season. If I can’t be with biological/marital family, these people are a great bunch to be with instead!
Last Thursday, John’s company‘s (battalion‘s?) FRGs threw their Thanksgiving dinner for the families of deployed soldiers and Rear D soldiers. It was a pot-luck style dinner, and everything was delicious. If there is one thing I’m thankful for this year, it’s the support of my army family. I’ve kind of glossed over it here, but over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been sick. For the most part, it wasn’t too serious, but all of that came to a head on Thursday. I was not able to function.
The Munchkin’s ABA tutor, also an army wife, had to feed the boys breakfast. After ABA ended, my friend Jina, another army wife, came over to put The Munchkin on the bus, feed The Bean and her boys lunch, and watched The Bean for the rest of the afternoon. She got The Munchkin off of the bus, and kept them at her house until dinner time. If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have been able to go to the FRG Thanksgiving at all. Because of these women’s help, I was able to sleep off basically the plague, and felt human again by 5:30. I tested the waters by eating a small soup dinner at Jina’s house, and then felt well enough to take the boys to the Thanksgiving dinner.
The Munchkin was pretty full by the time we arrived, and only ate some rolls, grapes, and a cupcake. The Bean, always the good eater, had some stuffing, mac & cheese, a roll, some grapes, and a cupcake. I decided to play it safe and didn’t eat anything. I was just happy to have kept the soup from Jina’s house down, and to be able to be out amongst the living again, haha.
There was a great turnout for the event; about 150 people showed up in all, and everyone seemed to have a good time. A lot of planning went into this dinner, so I was pleased that so many people came, and that it went so well. It really was a great event.
This is only “my” second deployment, and I’ve been really lucky to have a great support system of friends and acquaintances around me. When John deployed the first time, I was a new mom, working full time, and then planning a move by myself. My friends in Rochester kept me sane. Once at Fort Drum, my FRG friends taught me the basics of army life, and I value the friendships I made there immensely.
Now, it is time for me to do my part. Our battalion has welcomed a new baby into the ranks, and the father is deployed. A meal train has been set up so that the mother doesn’t have to cook dinner for a couple of weeks. I can only imagine how hard it is to give birth alone, during the holidays, and can’t wait to get my dinner for her together. I love how supportive our army family is, and even though we come from all different kinds of places, and all walks of life, it doesn’t stop us from sitting down together for a meal, or coming to the aid of another when they need it. For that, I give thanks.
This post is part of a compensated editorial partnership with The Family Dinner Project. All storytelling/opinions/pics/etc. are my own.
It’s The Family Dinner Project’s mission is to inspire families to enjoy food, fun, and conversation together. It doesn’t have to be fancy; the point is actually, to return to a simpler and more meaningful way of being.
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