Thanksgiving 2022

A day before Thanksgiving, with most of my family members coughing or sniffling, we took COVID tests. Adam had a friend he hadn’t seen in years from his days at USC in town and we had plans to have him and his family over for dinner.

Before the tests there was the usual murmurings, no one thought they actually had it. I administered the tests in a staggered fashion. First Adam’s came back. It was positive. Next I tested Ben. Negative. Aaron, who was sure he didn’t have it…positive. Sam, also positive. After I swiveled Jack’s nose he asked if the three of us could still go do all fun the activities we had planned this Thanksgiving holiday since everyone else was sick. Then his test came back positive. Seriously, why is it no one ever thinks they have it? Mine was negative. But I still remember my shock and disbelief when my test came back positive in September of this year.

Next came a flurry of moving electronics and the tables to support them downstairs in our newly makeshift “COVID ward”. I canceled the soccer session, the eye doctor appointment, the expensive Thanksgiving buffet at the club and a two nights stay at the water park.

Calisoff COVID Ward. Adam is napping in the back room.

Then Ben and I ran to the store to pick up a very last minute Thanksgiving feast.

On the phone the morning of Thanksgiving, my sister and I had a giggle about how our mother would be turning in her grave if she knew the Thanksgiving we were both preparing. My sister is recovering from surgery and I had no time to prepare so we both had store bought cranberry sauce. Both our turkeys were not fully thawed by Thanksgiving morning. I just chucked my turkey into the over half frozen and hoped for the best.

Turkey, Sweet Potato Casserole, Green Beans, Brussel Sprouts, Stuffing, Cranberry and Gravy

In the end I managed to cook a small buffet of my own. I took a picture of it and let the patients on my COVID ward point to what they wanted. They made a half hearted attempt to eat it, and some complained it was tasteless, which I’m assuming (or blaming!) was COVID related.

I’m not sure what possessed me to spend all day cooking it. Why was I working away for a bunch of people with no appetites and failing taste buds? I felt like an injured runner who tries to run the marathon anyway, just because they sign up every year and can’t break from the tradition of it. I should have just ordered Chinese like we do for Christmas!

Meanwhile Ben and I ran to the art store every day in an attempt to keep him busy and away from the other kids. One of his many quicks is his insatiable need for attention. One day during the holiday I counted how many times he said my name in a day. From 9am until 9pm it was 436 times. And he took a nap that day!

Ben’s Art Studio AKA the Kitchen Table. (Good Thing We Can’t Eat Together Right Now)
Ben’s Cupcake Army (on display stands), Mario Characters and Loki (laying in front)

Despite the blow COVID did to our holiday, in bed at night, both of us masked up, Adam gave me a list of all the things we should be grateful for. Our health, our financial security, our wonderful kids, our beautiful marriage, and even being sick during a holiday so he could actually take time to rest and recover.

I hope everyone reading this finds something they can be thankful for this week, no matter what hardships they also face. Life might not be perfect, but there is always a silver lining somewhere if you look hard enough.

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Soccer, Soccer, Soccer

This fall I turned into the ultimate soccer mom.

Last year, after Jack’s first year of soccer on the Fresh/Soph team, we signed him up for travel soccer. This meant instead of just soccer in the fall, he would play year round.

His skill improved dramatically, and he was able to get a spot on his high school’s JV team this year.

Under Armor Tournament

So after seeing the progress Jack made, we decided to have the twins try out for soccer as well.

I made a few mistakes with the tryout, which hopefully my dear readers will learn from and not repeat themselves. Because the twin’s school lets out later than most, the original tryout started at the exact time school let out. So instead of getting early dismissal, I decided to sign them up for the make-up tryout.

Unlike the regular tryout where they paired same aged kids 5 v 5 and watched them closely, the make-up tryout consisted of all age groups lumped together. My twins were with much older kids in a huge scrimmage. They were assigned opposite teams. Sam played his normal spot as a defender. And Aaron, who last year would score a goal most games, was asked to play defense as well.

Aaron didn’t get a change to show off his striker skills. And unfortunately, Sam had a ball kicked over his head that hit the goalpost, then hit his back, then went into the goal. He unwittingly scored an own goal.

When we left the tryouts, Sam turned to Aaron and said, “I scored more goals than you for once.”

The performance did not win them a spot. I was really bummed about it and blamed myself for not going to the regular tryout. I really felt they had enough skill to play travel. They spent many years playing soccer and had lots of extra soccer coaching.

Ben plays goalie while the twins get extra coaching

Then later another email was sent out asking if people wanted to try out for the extra team, which is below travel soccer but above community soccer. I took them to that one. The head coached followed them the whole time and asked Adam if they were just interested in extra or did they want to play travel? Adam said they would be interested in travel.

This time, they made the travel team!

Also, this year they are old enough to play for the school team as well.

Recognize the Coach?

So the last few months Jack and the twins have had practice or games almost every day after school. I’ve been shuffling all over Chicago with our minivan full of snacks, shin guards and water bottles.

It’s been wonderful. As many moms with older children have told me, what you miss most when the kids grow up is all the games or track meets or whatever your kid is competing in. So I’m relishing every game, no matter how many, because I know that it will all be over too soon.

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