Gobble gobble! I hope you all had a wonder(full) Thanksgiving with the ones you love. How did you spend your holiday? Huddled around the table sharing stories, playing a game of spades, or shouting in front of the TV watching football?
For the first time in my relationship, I spent this beautiful holiday with my honey’s family in southern Arizona. I’m not going to lie, I was pretty nervous. We’ve never spent a holiday together with his family and it’s a pretty big statement for where we are in our relationship. And to add a little more pizzaz, we invited my immediate family as well. Ah, blending the family for the holidays.
Our itinerary was simple: my family met us in Phoenix, and we would drive three hours to Sierra Vista. It seemed like a simple three-hour drive, but there was I was the designated driver…with my mom in the passenger seat. I’m sure all of us have had this moment, as your mom buckles up tight and flinches at every move you make in the car. Oh boy.
Luckily, we survived (many backseat-driver moments later), just early enough to help Trei’s family set up dinner. As we introduced the family, everyone seemed to settle in nicely; mom was making friends with the matriarchs in the kitchen and my brothers quickly made friends with the teenagers. As I watched my family nestle in, I realized that this was the moment — the moment that I’d played over and over in my head since I was a kid. I had grown up and was introducing my family to my future in-laws. How surreal.
In my quiet moments, I had to think about what the holidays will be like as I become a part of this new family. I haven’t always felt welcomed with open arms; a feeling that I’d have to work just a little harder for their acceptance. After many failed attempts early on in our relationship, I have been feeling a little discouraged about how they feel about me.
This day was the awakening that I needed. Sure, I didn’t have the piece-of-cake situation with my boyfriend’s family, but maybe it was me. I needed to have an open mind and truly get to know them. I needed to understand them in order to become one of them. And I wanted to do this for Trei — to show him that being in a relationship is more than just dating the one that you’re with — you’re dating the family too.
So although it was new and a bit stressful, I learned a few valuable lessons this year. Being in a relationship takes two open-minded partners who are willing to understand where each other came from and embrace their family — no matter how different they may be from your own.
So I’m ending the weekend excited. I’m looking forward to the years to come and the relationships I will build with my boyfriend’s family. I can’t wait for the things I will learn about them, and for the things that they can learn about me.
So I hope that each and every one of you had a holiday full of love, happiness, and new adventures. Now, onto Christmas!