Friday, November 30, 2012

Thanksgiving: A Review (Mostly) in Pictures

Eli's first Thanksgiving was a smashing success.  Having read some horror stories about how holidays can trigger trauma-related behaviors, I had a lot of anxiety about Thanksgiving.  It would be the first time we had a house full of guests, and I wasn't sure how Eli would handle it.

He was in Heaven.

Of course, it helped that we had a house full of amazingly awesome people.  But I also think Eli's ability to take holiday chaos in stride is another testament to his strength and resilience, because even good chaos can be very unsettling for anyone. 

I am again reminded of just how lucky Brad and I are that he's our son.

Without further chatter from me, on to our Thanksgiving Review in Pictures.  Or maybe I should call it a Thanksgiving Review in Candid Pictures, because Eli not only objected when I tried to photograph him, but whenever I tried to take photos generally.  So I couldn't even ask everyone else to look at the camera without risking Eli throwing his arms up in protest.

I can't wait to tease him relentlessly about his constant cries of "No Pictures!!" when he, hopefully, exits this stage.  Kid, you may as well tell me to stop breathing.  Photos will be taken.  They may not be very good photos without your cooperation, but there will be photos.

So, where were we?  Ah, yes, Thanksgiving weekend.

Eli met his Aunt Trish, Uncle Paul, and cousins Samantha and Bailey for the first time.

Instant mutual love and adoration.

And our boy who hates cameras hammed it up with his cousin Bailey on her iPhone.  I should get her to send me some of those crazy photos.  Or would that violate some cousin code that allowed the photos to be taken in the first place?

We joined 10,000 of our friends and neighbors at Denver's Turkey Trot. 

See the spot of orange to Brad's left?  That's Eli, hiding from the camera.  Sigh.

Brad made a fantastic Thanksgiving dinner.

(As an aside, a friend recently pointed out to me that I often begin sentences with "Brad makes the best. . . ."  My apologies for this highly annoying habit, but I'm a truth-teller.  And if you ate Brad's cooking regularly, I'd challenge you not to find yourself speaking like this.)

Captain America joined us for appetizers.

Just like Eli, Captain America refused to pose for a proper photo.

And we noticed that we never see Captain America and Eli in the same room, together.  Hmmm. . . .

We used our wedding china.  I love any meal served on it.

And Brad's mom had a beautiful centerpiece made for the table.

I was particularly fond of the juxtaposition of our china and Eli's Rock Star tumbler.  I feel the beginnings of trend here.

Eli sat happily nestled between his Aunt Trish . . .

and his cousins Sam and Bailey.

And since we didn't know whether Eli would like pumpkin pie, we made traditional Thanksgiving cupcakes.  (And pumpkin pie.  Always pumpkin pie.)

The next day, once we emerged from our food comas, we did it all over again.  

This time with prime rib . . . 

and the most exquisite bottle of 1996 Petrus, compliments of Trish and Paul.

I've never been much of a prime rib person, but I'd never before had Brad's prime rib.  Brad makes the best prime rib.  (haha, there I go again!)  But, seriously, he does.  Remember, I'm the truth-teller.

The day after Thanksgiving officially became my favorite holiday of the season so far.

And I deny any correlation with the amount of champagne and wine served at that day after Thanksgiving dinner.

I love this photo of Brad and Trish, two of my favorite people.

The next day was Eli's baptism, which I'll write about separately.  

Reflecting on this Thanksgiving weekend, I am reminded of how very fortunate I am for the people God has placed in my life.  Our family knows how Eli and I have been struggling with attachment, and I am so thankful for the support and understanding--and grace--they showed me.  Even when I was at times as nervous and jittery as a cat in a room full of rockers, and at other times a bit glum with jealousy that our child seems to have affection for everyone but me.  (Wah, I hate being so whiny.  But, again, truth-teller here.)

Eli had one dysregulation incident, and even that wasn't a big deal.  I think the cumulative effect of the fun and excitement became a little much, and he started to melt down in Whole Foods.  I carried him out of the store while Brad finished our shopping, and Eli and I went for a walk around the block and talked.  Eli held my hand the entire time, which is how I knew he was feeling out of sorts.  By the time we returned to Brad and his dad back at the car, Eli was calm and regulated.  So proud of that kid, how he's able to center himself and move forward.

I was apprehensive about what would happen when everyone departed after such a fun weekend.  Would he have the "fun hangover" I've read so much about, and dreaded pretty much the entire weekend?

Not at all. 

In fact, after everyone left Saturday afternoon, Eli's attitude and behavior were even better than before the fun-filled, chaotic weekend.  He was happy, he was relaxed.  We went to church, went out to dinner (he tried sushi for the first time!), then settled in for a movie and a lazy Sunday the following day.  We talked about how much fun it was to have everyone visit, and when we'd see everyone again.

In the week since, Eli seems to have made great strides in his attachment with me.  Brad has always been very affectionate and loving toward me, and I often see Eli watching us as Brad hugs and kisses me.  But it seems the love and affection shown me by the rest of our family really made an impression on Eli.  He seems to think maybe I'm not so bad after all. 

And that perhaps I can be trusted with his love, too.

1 comment:

  1. Between Thanksgiving and his baptism, seems like Eli is experiencing quite an awesome time in his life, right now! So many great happenings, filled with the love of family & friends. :)