By Sometimes Mom
Follow her on Instagram @sometimes_mom
Thinking back to Thanksgiving Eve 2021, I’m traveling with my husband and current foster son (out-of-state-travel letter in tow) to visit my in-laws in New York. I have mixed feelings about Thanksgiving, it has never been my favorite holiday. The traditional meal relies far too heavily on vegetables for my liking. Plus, I’ve spent my entire adult life working in the retail industry, effectively killing my holiday spirit. But Thanksgiving, specifically, holds a bittersweet place in my heart. Two years ago, on this day, we said goodbye to our first long term foster placement. In preparation for what I anticipated to be one of the saddest days of my life, my husband and I declined all invites for the holiday, resigning ourselves to a day at home, wallowing in our misery.
We spent the day in sweats, watching TV and crying at a Wal-Mart commercial set to Elton John’s “Rocketman”, a song I sang to our foster son on many a frustrated, sleepless night. We soon realized that in our decision to boycott Thanksgiving, we failed to make any plans to feed ourselves. The days prior were spent soaking up every last minute with our foster son, not bothering to buy groceries. Naively, I assumed we could get takeout on Thanksgiving, but quickly learned that Cracker Barrel was our only option. Even worse, they were only serving a Thanksgiving menu. I would have to eat vegetables, after all.
So, there we sat on Thanksgiving Day, eating cold Cracker Barrel takeout, and crying over Wal-Mart commercials. It was one of the most pathetic days of my life, until I received a text from our foster son’s mom. It was a picture of our little boy, dressed up for Thanksgiving and smiling. His hair was styled differently, and he was wearing an outfit that we hadn’t bought for him. Little details like that can sting, but he was happy, and the juxtaposition made me smile.
She didn’t have to send that picture or even acknowledge us ever again, but I am so thankful that she did. And while I give thanks for this every day, it’s nice to be reminded each November. Even if I must endure a few vegetables first.