My Crazy, Caring Family

Leah Power, Staff Writer

As Thanksgiving break loomed over us, I, for one, was excited to pack up my car and watch FMU fade further into my rearview mirror, putting miles between, me, school, work and everything else that the semester entails. Leaving behind my tiny room to spend quality time with my family, friends and cat can be refreshing. What else could a college student ask for?

How about peace? Being able to sleep until noon or later, having more than Net ix to binge watch and just being able to be lazy. Then there’s the food. For a week we aren’t forced to cook for ourselves or depend on the dining hall. We picture our family sitting down to a perfectly browned turkey, heaps of mashed potatoes, carrots, biscuits and desserts galore. We picture people laughing, a dog curled up by the re and everyone enjoying each other’s company. And for the rst few moments that everyone is together, it’s like that. Everyone is looking through rose-colored glasses at past holiday experiences, reliving the mouth watering pumpkin pie, the beautiful back-yard football touchdown, maybe listening to stories from older generations about how things used to be.

But how many times is that actually the case? How many times do things go this smoothly? Well, in my family the answer is a short and swift never. Coming from a family of musicians, scholars and over-all passionate people, I can say this has never happened. Our holidays are less like a Hallmark movie, and more along the lines of the Griswalds. Someone inevitably feels overwhelmed, people get snapped at and someone will get upset. But the fussing and fighting is followed by more laughter, smiles and genuine love. It’s the most perfect picture of chaos that I’ve ever seen because it’s real. We aren’t afraid to be ourselves: laughing, crying, yelling and hugging. For me, it’s one of the most refreshing times of the year. I can let my hair down and not feel pressured to be anyone at all.

I think the idea of people expecting to have the perfect Thanksgiving is over-rated. After all stories and laughter don’t come from perfect people. Stories come from the imperfections, from aunts forgetting to turn the oven on because they’re having too much fun catching up with everyone, children running through the kitchen and sneaking into the desserts, or spending 12 or more hours in a cramped car reliving childhood road trips. It comes from being able to laugh at things gone wrong, not depending on technology to entertain you but instead spending time with family. From being able to role with the punches, laughing along the way and being able to create new traditions and memories.

So for me, I know this winter break won’t be an extension of Thanksgiving break, lled with sleeping in late, endless Net ix and all the comforts of home. I’m happy to give them up to share in making more memories with my crazy, opinionated and caring family. After all, I’m not going to remember all the days that I sat at home binge watching “Orange is the New Black.” I’m going to remember trying to make a cake with my grandmother, playing road games with my brother and sitting in the kitchen and listening to stories about holidays past. That’s the type of holiday that I’m interested in.