Quebec is on lockdown again as the second wave of the virus sweeps through our province. That means we can’t celebrate Thanksgiving with our adult kids, visit my elderly mother or see our friends. But we decided to have our turkey dinner anyway (yes, we will be eating leftovers for days) to celebrate going through this unprecedented time together. Our future wasn’t always a given.
We came together as a blended family when our kids were four and six respectively. Anyone who is part of a blended family knows that it’s hard. It comes with its own set of challenges that we didn’t see for the rose-coloured glasses. For those considering embarking on this journey, I would say: Go for it. But just know that there will be times of heartbreak as well as times of great reward. We weren’t always sure we would make it. But we did. And we’re grateful for that and for the little moments of deep contentment that now make up a shared life.
It’s those small moments in a day like having someone to say “Good morning” to or to ask the mundane question “What do you want for dinner?”. It’s being able to watch television in the evenings in different rooms (he likes sports and I like the Gilmore Girls on Netflix) knowing there is a comforting presence nearby.
Ben has been working from home for over a decade. So in the early days of the pandemic when I started to work from home, I was afraid the enforced togetherness would drive us crazy. But we fell easily and naturally into a new, companionable routine. Both those words – companionable and routine – sound staid and boring. But they also sound steady and sure. It feels a little like having both our hands on the wheel, steering in the same direction. Occasionally, there is a minor dispute about that direction. And, if I am honest, occasionally there is a not-so-minor dispute. The important thing is that, so far, we have been able to agree on where we are going and get back on a shared path.
So tonight we’ll raise our glasses to that and to the things we have instead of focusing on the things we have lost, at least temporarily, to the virus. And we will toast to the specter of better days ahead. Happy Thanksgiving Canada.