This past weekend was Canadian Thanksgiving. Traditionally it is a weekend where you get together with family for a Thanksgiving dinner, where a Ham or Turkey are the main guests so to speak. In the past we have almost always gone to my parent’s house/cottage for the weekend where my mom puts on a delicious feast. This year we were on our own given that we were now in Calgary and they were back in Ontario 😦
We decided to host a dinner Saturday night as my sister and her family were travelling on Sunday. Like with most things we are overly ambitious and decided not only to put on our first Thanksgiving dinner but would do so for 13 people. Included in this 13 was of course my sister’s family, us, and a young family we met through London’s school who didn’t have family in the city and a cousin of ours that we haven’t seen in a while. My sister contributed towards the dinner which was a great help but Mike spent quite a few hours in the kitchen the night before and the day of. In the end we had a delicious dinner with great company, 7 adults and 6 little ones, and I managed to only put my foot in the mouth once!
So we were talking about children’s names – neat ones and the ‘what were you thinking’ ones – when I remembered that someone recently told me of someone they knew who hyphenated the mom and dad’s last names to produce something crazy. I couldn’t remember who told me and was trying to remember hard so I could continue with the story and that is when I looked over at my sister who gave me the look of death and mouthed STOP. Bingo, now I knew who told me and what the name combination was. It was my sister’s sister-in-law (husband’s sister) who recently named her child Satya (a yoga term meaning truth) and then hyphenated her last name with the baby’s dads name – Hymen (not sure if that is the correct spelling). Of course I am not a proponent of teasing regardless of one’s name but there are some things a parent can do to prevent setting your child up for potential teasing and it starts with selecting your child’s name. Anyways I quickly moved on after seeing my sister’s face in horror worried I would remember the name and came up with a few other crazy name combinations. I don’t think my brother-in-law was the wiser of that little gaffe but my sister-in-law was not so happy.
After the guests left it was a bit of a let down for me and I honestly wondered if it was worth it. I spent hours cleaning the house leading up to the day and our entire Saturday more or less revolved around the dinner and then afterwards there was considerable clean-up. I always appreciated what my mom did for us in the past but after this dinner it made me feel guilty for not helping out more in the past.
Both Mike and I agree that we can’t rely on invites to other people’s houses given the special needs factor, for some reason many typical families are hesitant to invite special needs families over, so we have to do the inviting and make our place a hub of activity. That would be okay if being the host came naturally for me but it doesn’t. Maybe after a few more dinners and not putting our lives on hold preparing for a dinner will make them more enjoyable afterwards. The other thing is that I tend to deny people from helping clean up afterwards thinking that is what a good host does but just maybe I need to rethink that and take them up on that given that we have other demands placed on us that zap our energy and that the extra little help is worth the knock on the good host award.
In the end we are both grateful for even having the means and the opportunity to host such a dinner. Here is to many more in the future!