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Extended Holiday

his hands while he cooks

He made squash for Thanksgiving dinner. He had to work that night, but he made this wonderful squash dish as his contribution. His love in a side dish, so we wouldn’t forget. There was a moment at the table, one moment, when everyone was eating and someone tasted the squash and exclaimed over its flavor. Then someone else had to try and soon everyone was eating squash and exclaiming, so I got to brag on my beloved, which made me beam. I adore him.

“Where is he?” They all asked. “It’s so awful he has to work!” And then they pat my cheek while I insist that I don’t mind, I’m used to it. He’s worked every single holiday for every year I’ve known him, eleven years last July.¬†I long ago gave up on the idea of spending holidays with him. I resented it for years until I figured out that holidays don’t have to be celebrated when everyone else celebrates and new traditions can be invented every year. Now I kind of love it. He works on holidays so we’re forced to draw them out, add an extra day of celebration to the week. An extra day to feel grateful, safe, loved. An extra day to sleep in and eat good food. It turns out to be pretty fabulous.

This year we shared a romantic Thanksgiving for two on Michael’s day off. We ate meatloaf leftovers and worked on a Christmas craft project inspired by the Dia de los Muertos display we saw earlier in the month. It turns out that clay people and cardboard houses are waaaaay harder to make than you’d think. Three hours of work yielded six naked, faceless people, one house with an unattached roof and only half a paint job, and a miniature wiener dog. If we actually want a whole village we’ll be working on this every year for the rest of our lives, but then again, isn’t that what it was all about? Creating a new family tradition.

He’ll work Christmas Eve and Christmas, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. We’ll wait until his next day off to celebrate together, the two of us, alone in our little home with the beasts and their endless shedded tufts of hair. We’ll cook if it sounds like fun or we’ll order in. We’ll nest. We’ll watch holiday movies or go adventuring, build tiny dream homes out of cardboard and hot glue or spend hours in bed. Whatever we do won’t matter as long as we’re together,¬†uninterrupted, happy and in love.

This is my fourth week linking up with Just Write. You should totally link up too.