Monday, December 2, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving, you all!

I know I know, I am quite late in the game.  I am supposed to write this post in a timely manner but my life recently has been out of ordinary because Fabrice has been traveling for almost the entire November!  I can enjoy being a single Mom for a short period of time, but for a whole month, well, that led to the following few incidents:

- Last Monday morning, I woke up at 7:30 am resulting in having Zhuzhu to miss her latest allowed drop off at 7:50 am.  We arrived at her school at 7:58 am and she had to enter from a side door.  Fortunately she was not alone and it was rainy...Sorry kiddo, it is the first time and hopefully the last time that you had to walk into the school through the door of shame.  

What, don't I know how to use an alarm clock?  Well, let me tell you, I am a dreamer and I love to dream in the mornings.  That morning I was listening to one of Fabrice's postdoctoral trainees to report her research progress in a lab meeting in my dream.  I remember being annoyed by some beeping sound while the meeting was going on and wished someone in the lab to turn that unattended timer was actually my alarm went off in reality...


- I also cheated by skipping regular breakfast at the table in order to get Zhuzhu to her school on time, at least 2 morning per week.  Shh, don't tell Fabrice that I fed the kids in the car since he is the one who cleans it!

- The house is a mess now.

Oh, alright, this post is not about my relying on Fabrice to live a life as a responsible parent.  It's about the T-day. 

Yes, I had learnt to appreciate this special day and in fact, our family has already spent our last 2 Thanksgiving dinner nights with the same close friends Mike/Vera and their close friends.  The 2012's T-dinner was even more specially personal to me because my parents were visiting.  After the dinner, my father could not stop talking about how much he appreciated the hospitality of our hosts.  He was trying to name each dish that he had as he had not had such typical/traditional American dinner before.  He was also offered a silver bracelet by one of the guests and surprisingly my father wore it all the way back to China - just so you know, this man had probably never worn any jewelry in his entire 82 years of life (well, at least I had never seen him wearing any in my entire life).  

It turns out that this year's T-holiday has made me in debt to our regular T-dinner hosts even more...

... right, we had planned to again join Mike/Vera and their close friends for another special T-dinner this year.  In my RSVP, I even emphasized the fact that we had to reject 4 other invitations to make it to their T-dinner indicating how much we appreciated the invitation and how much we were looking forward to another special evening.

However, just a day or 2 after I RSVPed, an email from SW airline lured me with a special offer to Denver, the ticket price was within our budget and I immediately booked 4 non-refundable tickets and then happily informed our hosts.  I did so NOT because I needed to change our RSVP from a Yes to a No, but because I thought that they might wish to jump into this opportunity as I did.

A bit of a background information here: we had been skiing together in the last 2 years and had been planning on having a ski trip together this winter too, except that we had failed to find reasonably priced tickets.

Well, guess what, things are not as easy as I thought. 

This year Chanukah/Hanukkah spans from Nov. 27 to Dec. 7, and our T-dinner hosts happen to be Jews who enjoy Jewish holidays.  That meant that their T-dinner guests included usual crowd and some unusual "out of town" Jewish friends.

That also meant that the T-dinner plan could not be easily changed.

After having found out this, I had tried to reschedule our ski trip but then was advised not to by our loving friends/T-dinner hosts.  They love me so much that they support, at least understood, my need of getting out of another 4 days of babysitting life.  Having been listening to Zhuzhu and Niuniu's complaints about how unfair it was that the Daddy got to travel everywhere in the world yet they had to stay home, I had been becoming more and more bothered by the fact that the T-holiday would need me to take care of them 5 whole days more straight while the Daddy is dealing with his jet lag from his international travel (Australia) and then catching up with his work!  

For the record, Fabrice was quite upset about my sudden change of plans.  He missed being home after a 12-days traveling in another continent; had to cancel several scheduled meetings including an important one with his biggest employer NIH; and of course, would have certainly not cancelled a T-dinner plan with our friends...However, I believed that he was mad at the fact that I had made a "mini family vacation plan" without his consent.

Sorry hubby, if you go out of town so often, I may run our lives like a true single Mom.


Now, the end results? 

Fabrice has gotten his "home cooking" for not being "home" in the last 4 night straight - yes, I have cooked 4 dinners straight in our rental condo; he dealt with his jet lag effortlessly by flying on ski slopes; he also bonded with the kiddos by spending every single minute with them in beautiful Colorado Mountains; he even has not lifted a finger to decide which ski resort to take the kiddos - he followed my lead and we skied at the Breckenridge and Keystone, 2 days each resort.

Indeed, having a ski trip during T-holiday has been our tradition ever since Jay, one of my best friends, invited Fabrice and me to join him at Frisco years ago.  Following his lead, we have since invited many other groups of people, including friends and relatives, to Frisco to spend our T-holidays.  Together, we have had some special T-dinners at this small but friendly town.  I love Frisco and many other cities that welcome skiers during winter seasons.  T-holiday is particularly colorful as these cities put out the Christmas lights early enough for skiers like us who enjoy preseason skies - cheaper lift tickets with less people on the slopes.  I personally believe that a ski trip to CO mountains is the best way to spend T holiday for the ones who have not grown up with a holiday named Thanksgiving.  Therefore, I did go on the Facebook to thank Jay for taking us there years ago.  

On the other hand, I have lived the last week of my life in a terrible guilt.  The spirit of this T-day may have gotten into me after all.

Thank you to all of you for loving me as who I am and happy Thanksgiving to you all!!!