Coming Home…

When my son went to college almost 20 years ago, he never returned to living near me. At first it was only a little over an hour's drive, that lasted 3 years. He then moved from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Round Rock, Texas - a 3 to 4 hour plane ride away. Every year he comes home for Wisconsin deer hunting season and to spend Thanksgiving with his mama. He calls it his "man" trip, his "man" time with his cousin and uncle. It is the one time a year where he does exactly and only what he wants. He arrives on a Thursday, stops to see me and pick up his homemade chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies and two apple pies from scratch. He and his cousin must each have their own - I think they share the gallon of milk. LOL... I love forward to the visit and enjoy the baking labor of love. I see him the following Wednesday, the day before turkey day. We had spent the holiday for many, many years at my daughters - with her family, some of our extended family, and friends who are family. My daughter makes a traditional turkey dinner with all the fixings. We have some picky eaters in our family - so there are always fried chicken and french fries as well. And about 8 desserts. The house is filled with the sound of joyful conversation and laughter from a 2 yr old to a couple 70 yr olds. After dinner there is a break before dessert. After that, we gather back around the dining room table to look at the Black Friday sale ads. Not so much for getting great deals - my daughter and stepdaughter and I make it a fun shopping day. Its become a tradition. Then we decide if we are going to sleep a bit or stay up all night to begin shopping at 4am. Yes, we are a little crazy!

A couple years ago, our tradition changed. My daughter and family spends her turkey day with her sister in law. My son and I began our first tradition of "Mom and Me" thanksgiving. Originally, we were a little disappointed, and werent sure how we felt about it. It was wonderful! We stayed in our pajamas that morning, I had baked some flavored quick breads - banana, cranberry, and pumpkin. My son asked who I thought was going to eat all that. I just smiled at him. He wiped most of it out by Sunday evening. Kristopher and I watched the Thanksgiving Day parade and some cartoons that he used to watch as a boy; and then we went right into football. It was a beautiful day - took a break from football and went for a walk. We talked about so many things we both had wanted to but never had the one on one time to do so; usually when he visits he is surrounded by family and friends. I make a traditional turkey dinner for us. It is a relaxed, peaceful, quiet day. We have shared secrets, we have laughed until we cried together, we have made amends, we have talked of our love, we have cried over the sorrowful things that have happened in our lives. At the end of the day, we are like a super mini version of The Waltons. We say good night to each other from bedroom to bedroom...good night Kristopher, good night mom, love you, love you too mom...a couple soft giggles... What will I be thankful for this Thanksgiving? For the precious alone time I will get with my awesome son. Priceless!

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Published in Senior Chatters


  1. morvenna

    Yes Helen……changes happen…..and we should embrace them and not fight them… is the most precious thing that we have…..and I am so pleased that you get together and spend special time with him……I am fortunate….my children live within a 10 mile radius of us…..and…..I am eternally thankful for them….Thanks for the blog….xxxxx M

  2. Maize

    A lovely, lovely blog Helen- yes, things change in time and we have to embrace them, new from the old. Thanks for this moving description, Helen!
    Much love,

  3. annemarie

    Helen what a lovely blog and really enjoyed reading it. I am fortunate to have my daughter 10 minutes from me. My son stayed in Westfield, Ma. when we moved up to Burlington, Vt. in 79 . He is married and I see him every other Chirstmas. I wish he lived here but I know he never will move back here to Maryland but wished he lived closer.

  4. msscooter

    Great blog!Thanksgiving Day is a quiet day for us….Our children go to the inlaws for the day so its just us two….We usually go out for Thanksgiving dinner and I am always amazed at how many families go out instead of cook…. There will be big tables full of families and then there will be couples like us…..We always tell our server how much we appreciate that she is working on Thanksgiving and giving up time with her family for people like us….

    1. skippy

      Beautiful blog Helen, I enjoyed reading about your family. Enjoy another turkey day with your son, my friend, will be thinking of you xxx

  5. lani36

    hi helen, what a lovely story, it,s nice to talk and listen of family and home,doesn,t seem to bee noughof it these days, with the independence of ones children as they grow and leave the nest, some of mine live nearby, but there always overses on some business trip or other, so the time we do spend together is very precious, we dont have a thankcgiving day set aside in Australia, but I thank god every day foir each of my children and their little families. hope you and your son have many special days and many memories to share. xxx Lani.

  6. PamfromTX

    HelenSophie, what a wonderful story ~ thanks for sharing it with us. Hope you continue to enjoy Thanksgiving with your caring son. Your story made me smile. xxx

    I’m like you, Msscooter as I spend most holidays with my husband. Thanksgiving is a lot of work for me so we decided last year that I would not go thru so much preparation for just two people. And of course… there are tons of leftovers.

    My stepson may decide to join us this year in which case I will make a feast. I must confess that holidays are not the same since our move as I miss the closeness of my big family.

    p.s. Last night… my husband suddenly asked me if I wanted to go home for Thanksgiving. If all goes well with my medical appointments, we shall attempt to go. We will see…

  7. Blush

    Ohhh Helen…. I enjoyed reading this so much. Brought back memories of my Thanksgivings of the past. Thank you for sharing your memories and I hope that this year you and your son make many more……….xx