Monday, November 29, 2010

Thankful to be a Taylor

I strongly believe that part of marriage is "marrying" a spouse's family. As strange as it was to start calling my father-in-law "Dad" at first, I did it because I knew I was now an important part of the Taylor family. (It's very easy to call him "Dad" now, by the way.)
When I was marrying S. I thought a lot about what my role would be in my new family. I had a unique situation because a year prior to S. and my first date (to the day) his mom had passed away. I walked into a family that had lost a wife and mother and the grief was fresh. I asked God to break my heart for my new family, asked Him to give me eyes to see them clearly and insight to encourage them.

He did. And I was very blessed by having my father-in-law and sister-in-law added to my life (not to mention that S. has some awesome aunts and uncles who I adore).
After some years of praying and asking God to bring Megan to Himself... He did. Not only did she choose to follow Christ, she chose to live under our roof while undergoing a huge transformation. She became one of my best friends, one of the few I trust the kids with, and now a huge encourager to me. My father-in-law checks up on me, stocks his cupboard with the best coffee when I'm coming to visit, and spoils my kids constantly.

This past week when we were all sick and then the snow and ice started... I was extremely disappointed that we might miss Thanksgiving with S.'s family.
I remember the first Thanksgiving I spent with S.'s family. It was my first time meeting them. I had known S. for less than 3 months (but he had already declared that he would be marrying me). It was a strange experience because this small, well-mannered family used real dishes for Thanksgiving. They all sat quietly around one table and passed things around for seconds. We watched some football and shared in the same conversation.
I grew up very differently. My family always ate buffet style with paper plates. There were at least 50 of us. In fact, one year we had Thanksgiving in a church so we'd have room... then one of my cousins pulled the fire alarm... it was a far cry from a "quiet" Thanksgiving (and the firemen were not excited). Having Korean relatives meant that in addition to turkey we had bulgogi and kim chi. In the morning all the boys would play football. If you wanted quality conversation, there was time to sneak a favorite cousin away for a walk. It was loud, messy, and lasted for days. Before eating, my Pake would have everyone go around the circle and share what they were thankful to God for that year. Relatives shared about struggles, about growing faith, and about what they needed prayer for. I remember wiggling, so hungry, wondering why this always had to take the good part of an hour.

One of my contributions to the Taylor family was to start the "thanks" tradition as we start the meal, going around the table to share. (I wasn't about to make them eat off paper plates- I'm all about the real wine glasses and silverware!)
I thought that it would be painfully hard to miss my own family's traditions but I realized this year how much I love the new traditions that have come over the years.
For Thanksgiving we pile in our car (this time Megan rode with us- party!) and drive to Long Beach, WA to stay with S.'s dad for the long weekend.
Grandad has quite the set up- a stocked fridge for us, coloring and an abundance of toys for the kids. The kids love that they get a slumber party together with sleeping bags on the floor. They get Grandad's special "flat toast" for breakfast to go with their eggs and get to play with his toy pirate ship.
When I found out that the Taylor family tradition involved lemon meringue pie (which then is fought over as pieces are snuck, hidden, and devoured by S. and his dad) I balked. I had never made pie in my life! Determined to preserve a tradition for them that no other woman was around to preserve...I set to it. This year I did a darn good job- gluten free pie crust is no easy task.
The kids' favorite part about Long Beach is going down to the beach. It was a brisk 30 degrees but they didn't care. We hunt for shells (Hudson was quite proud of crab shells he discovered) and wade with rain boots on.

Then we hurry back for hot chocolate and a Christmas movie.
This Thanksgiving I was thankful to be out of my bed and able to eat food without a queasy stomach. But I was also thankful that God picked the Taylor family for me and picked me for them.
I was also thankful to have a sister as a built-in friend (and navigator) for the 6 hour drive home when everyone else was crashed in the back. (Note that I'm not taking my eyes off the road even for a picture.)

1 comment:

  1. So glad you were still able to head south for Thanksgiving.

    GREAT job on the pie. :)

    LOVE the pic of you and Megan

    When you describe the difference between your family and S's family ... I think of how CRAZY things must seem for the 3 young adults that will be joining our family in the coming year. Their families are all MUCH different than ours. I should ask S. how it was for him to join your crazy family. :)

    Hope your weekend is BLESSED!