My husband and I used to joke that there were three possessions that proved a person was a real grown-up: a roasting pan, a turkey baster and a headboard. We got the headboard a couple of years ago, but now we can finally call ourselves adults because tomorrow we’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner for 16 and roasting our very first turkey (in our brand-new roasting pan, with the help of our brand-new turkey baster).
As I sit here writing this post, my husband is on the couch watching turkey-carving videos on YouTube. Our day has been spent cleaning the house and relocating toys from the main floor of our 1970s split-level home, to give the illusion that we don’t live in 24/7 squalor. We’ve borrowed an extra table, chairs and linens. I made table centrepieces using glass bottles filled with acorns and twigs from our yard. I even bought decorative gourds. Decorative gourds!
And yet… am I really a grown-up? I’m a wife, a mother and a professional. I have degrees. I can cook. I pay bills. I own a house (well, the bank owns the house), a car (ditto) and a set of decorative gourds (all mine!). But what does this all add up to if I don’t really feel like an adult? If I still have questions about virtually everything in my life? If I still need my own mother?
Since I’ve become a mother I’ve come to think of my own Mum in a different light. There’s no question that as children we think of our parents as grown-ups. Of course Mum knows how to roast the turkey. But now, as I’ve struggled through the sleepless nights and tough decisions of parenthood, I understand more about what it must have been like for her. When she was my age, she had four young kids. And she was growing up too.
Our insecurities and the things we don’t know are invisible to our young children. And this gives me heart – in the eyes of my children, I do have my s*&t together. Of course I can roast the turkey.
Happy Thanksgiving! Wish me luck and a salmonella-free holiday!