First, I have to emphasize that we really did have a nice, quiet Thanksgiving to ourselves, and we're really really glad that we didn't have to worry about being social and eating at the same time. On the other hand, Thanksgiving is a time where you think about family, and that's kind of where the angst comes in.
So anyway. This family reunion that we didn't go to. Long-time readers probably know that this is a reference to the trip Mom takes with Steve every Thanksgiving to Washington, where Steve's family has a big reunion-y type thing. And since we moved here right after Mom got married, and everyone knows we're Sister Strong's daughters, it's not uncommon for people to call Steve our dad. When we first got here, the reactions were very snappish. Now, we take it in stride usually, but maybe because it's the holidays and there's such a big focus on family, it was a little hard today.
See, we know that Dad was incredibly, incredibly stupid, and we knew that divorce was inevitable after what he did, and we know he's not perfect. I've been over this many many times, but we didn't care much for Mom's choice in second husband, and that's a big part of why we reacted so vehemently when people mistook him for our dad. But this year, with Sarah's wedding, a lot of other issues have come up to kind of clarify even more reasons why we have such a hard time with the divorce.
Of course, there's always been the... For example, we'd see Mom and Steve working so hard to make us (Mom's kids, Steve's kids) come together and be a happy family, and there's always a feeling of, "Why couldn't she do that with our family?" And we saw how hard she worked to try to get Dad to stop being stupid, so we know she didn't do nothing. But there were a lot of feelings of abandonment when she was dating Steve. We've gotten over those, but there's still this, "Why couldn't our family have worked out?"
With all this new stuff going on, I think it's starting to make more sense. Sarah almost didn't tell Dad she was engaged. Now she and her fiance are (as far as we see it, not knowing any of the details) enjoying a time-honored family tradition that was never a tradition of our family's. Sarah probably gets a lot of that from Mom, who was really, really hurt by what Dad did, and keep asserting that we're her kids, and doesn't want Dad to even have pictures of us. So it's kind of like they're trying to erase Dad from the picture.
But we grew up with Dad. He wasn't always stupid. (In fact, we hear he's realized his stupidity and is working toward repentance--now Mom's feeling the, "Why couldn't he have done that when he was with me?" that we've been feeling all along.) We have a lot of really good memories of growing up with him and with the rest of our family, and by (apparently) trying to erase him from the picture, we feel like Mom and Sarah are erasing our entire history. Like it doesn't matter anymore. Like now that Mom has a husband that she's happy with, all our traditions and histories are supposed to change to match that. Or something. It's really hard to put into words, since we never were that great at putting our own thoughts into words. (That's why we translate--other people put the thoughts into words and we make them readable to English speakers.)
I guess I just feel like Momiji. Like, I understand that some things are really hard, and you want to forget them, but I want to remember everything. And I understand that Mom would want to forget; it's just hard to see it in action.
And I'm really not sure where I'm going with this. It's just something I wanted to say.
So anyway, we're firm believers that sometimes, all you can do about something is cry and get it out of your system, so I guess that's what that was. It's the kind of thing that can't really go away, which is why I don't talk about it much. But sometimes, well, sometimes you just gotta talk about it, or say it out loud, or vent, or something.
I wanted to end this post on a happy note, to let people know we're doing okay despite the angst, but I just wrote an angsty post, so guess what's on my mind? Let's see... Our home teachers came over today... we talked about lots of random fun things like video games and different languages and I found out that that amazing growl Tetsuya Kakihara did as Pochi in Zombie Loan probably did come from growing up speaking German... Sarah said she might take us to IHOP. I hope they still have streussel pancakes. And later we'll be watching The Santa Clause 3, which is good fun. We watched the first two on Friday and yesterday. We saw the third one in theaters before we saw the second one, and we were told the second one was bad, but it wasn't any more or less good than the other two. Take that to mean whatever you will. It does make us wonder why we didn't see the previous Mrs. Claus in the first Santa Clause movie, but we guess either the Santa that died was a widower, or she left while Scott was still turning into Santa. Incidentally, we read somewhere that Akira Ishida♥ is the Japanese dub voice of Bernard, which just seems so perfect.
Today I'm thankful for triple chocolate ice cream, getting a visit from our home teachers today, the Christmas tree someone left in the library at church, The Santa Clause movies, and the perfection-making of practice.