Some folks—my mom included—seem to have the knack for holding a family together. You know the type: they’re the glue that binds everyone and everything. Gatherings are usually at their homes and at their request. No one would think of staying away, even if the scheduling isn’t just right, and everyone has a good time while they’re there.
I’ve been thinking about that a lot this week, as my family tries to work out our plans for Thanksgiving dinner. For a variety of reasons—most having to do with trying to maintain some sort of family peace—we’ve decided to go out this year, rather than gather at anyone’s home. And, scheduling is proving very difficult—so much so that about half of us apparently won’t be able to make it Thursday. We’re going to spread some of the festivities into Friday, but even that won’t let everyone gather at once, or even over the course of the weekend. And the part that bothers me the most is that it doesn’t seem to bother anyone else. Clearly, of all the many things I learned from my mom, how to be the family glue was not among them. It makes me sad. I want the days when things were simpler and family traditions were important to everyone.
But the saddest thing of all is that I know we can’t ever go back.