23- Thanksgiving Day
~Hi, I know it’s Thanksgiving (Happy Thanksgiving!) but I wanted to know if you’d like to go for ice cream tomorrow?
I smiled at the text from Cole. I was actually kind of happy that he texted me.
•I have plans at 6, but anytime before that is great
~How about I take you out for lunch instead?
•If food’s involved, I’m involved
~I figured as much ;)
~Pick you up at 12?
•I’ll be here
I set my phone down and sighed. Thanksgiving Dinner wasn’t until later, so I had a free morning to sit and do nothing. It was really nice, to say the least.
Sometime later, the doorbell rang. I must have fallen asleep at some point in my exciting morning of blankness.
“Thera, your aunt’s here!” I jumped from my bed in alarm and quickly changed out of my pajamas. It can’t be, I thought. Not so soon.
I raced down the stairs with legs like jelly, anticipating the moment I saw my aunt again.
My favorite aunt.
My face burst into a smile as I saw her radiating glow. “Aunt Jupiter!”
“There’s my favorite niece,” she cooed. From somewhere beside our reunion hug, I heard my dad scoff.
“Jup, you’ve always spoiled that child to death.”
“You have to admit to yourself she’s no longer a child, brother.”
My dad scowled and turned away. “Honey,” he called to my mother somewhere, “the brat’s back in town. Ow!” That last noise was the result of my aunt slapping him hard on the arm. I couldn’t help but laugh as the two began a sibling fight that quickly escalated from pinches and pokes to my dad nearly tackling her to the ground as she yelled, “Come at me, bro!”
He picked her up and over his shoulder as if she were merely a rag doll and was in the process of starting to spin faster and faster when my mom walked in the room and stopped his nonsense.
“Good grief, Matt, put your poor sister down.”
“Yeah!” Jupiter agreed amongst her giggles. I watched as dad slowly came to a stop. But he was never really quite done with all of his shenanigans; instead of putting my aunt rightly on her feet, he tucked her up until he was all the way close to the floor and dropped his sister on the rug. ”Oof!"
“My, my father, you’re getting quite evil,” I said.
“Hush it or you’re next, little one.”
“I’m so scared.” I really wasn’t, and he knew it. We were all taunting, back and forth. We were relishing in these times, seeing as Aunt Jupiter doesn’t get to visit us that often. She’s either been on vacation too far away or further back, extended college. Even now her job keeps her constantly going, but she finally caught a break to come visit us.
My mother looked anxiously out the window, presumably searching for her side of the family. She too had a sister and also a brother. Her brother was married and had three kids. Three.
Three little obnoxious cousins that always needs someone’s attention, or they start bawling, throwing a fit, or throwing things from around the house. Not usually what I would call fun.
Mom’s sister had recently gotten married. I didn’t have to worry about monsters from her for a while though; they said they didn’t want to jump right into having kids until they had spent a few years enjoying just the two of them while they were still young and could do whatever they felt like doing. A little jingle came from next to me. Mom looked down at her phone and frowned.
“What’s wrong, Allison?” my dad asked.
“Jeff said he can’t make it. Apparently two of the three got sick and they don’t want to come infect us.”
My sigh of relief was perhaps a little too loud. I covered it with a cough and asked a question instead, “What about your sister?”
“I already knew she wouldn’t be able to come; she and her new husband are on what they’d like to call their second honeymoon. Really, it’s just another vacation.”
“Oh.” I was fine with just spending the day with Aunt Jupiter, she was plenty fun on her own, but I knew that mom hates it when her family couldn’t get together (a long backstory from her childhood).
“How’s the food coming, do you need a hand in the kitchen?” It was Jupiter who broke the silence and I knew that even if the new downcast mood hurt a little, that she would understand the point that my mom came from. A moment later, mom seemed to awaken from her small sadness bubble and she quickly replaced a smile on her face.
“Actually, it’s almost done. I’ll just need to warm the rolls in the oven and we’re ready. Babe, would you like to start carving the meat?”
“It would be my honor, dearest,” was my dad’s reply. Mom brought out the turkey and ham (my family liked to have both) and let dad begin his job. Aunt Jupiter gave me a wink before disappearing, presumably to put the bread to be heated. I watched my mother finishing arranging everything on trays, then helped her to carry the food to the table. Like most Thanksgiving meals, it was an overly excessive amount of food; probably more than the four of us could eat in three normal sized meals. But I guess that’s half the fun.
“Oh Thera, I almost forgot!” I heard my mom say from the kitchen. She came rushing out with a bowl. “One of your favorites, right?”
“Yes!” I cheered, containing my outward joy, but secretly doing a happy dance in my head. She had peaches!
The four of us dug in after grace and ate so much food I thought I could actually explode. It was a struggle to even make it to the couch. Aunt Jupiter was groaning.
“Why did I let myself eat that much?” She rhetorically questioned.
“Because Jup, that’s what you’re supposed to do.” Dad had flopped on the other end of the couch, a hand on his belly.
Jupiter stayed at our house for the rest of the day. When she started feeling better she got feistier, so her and dad had more than one tackle fight. With a sad look on her face, she finally bid us goodbye, plates and bags of food filling her arms.
(I’m not normally so sappy, so I’m blaming it on the food. Yeah, all of the stuff got to my head or something.)
Today was a day to realize the importance of family, and being able to spend time with them all.