I don’t get worked up about the holidays or go crazy with the decorations. America’s obsession with special days stresses me out. They come one right after the other, full-blown. It’s hard to enjoy Independence Day with the Halloween commercials all up in your face. I only do something for Christmas (despite being religion challenged), because my kids enjoy making their own decorations and getting the tree all decked out. It’s one of those small, fake trees, but it works great because they can reach to the top and place the big bright star or the angel themselves.
This year, though, I would like to focus a bit more on Thanksgiving. Like everyone else, I’m thankful for having great friends and family, both here and in the Basque Country, as well as being healthy, gainfully employed, with a nice roof over my head. However, there are two people I am specially grateful for. In this day and age, where divorced couples are most likely to get at each other’s throats and use their kids as weaponry, I count myself lucky to have Mike as my ex, who still helps me when I need it, and I do the same for him. But Mike is my kids’ dad so it makes sense that we work hard on getting along.
It is really Mike’s girlfriend, Crissy, who I’m most thankful for this year. Often, step-moms don’t get the recognition they deserve. It’s not easy caring for someone else’s kids, and I’m sure it’s a job dealing with me as your boyfriend’s ex-wife, sorry! I’ve been known to call Mike up and invite myself to coffee when I’m missing my kids, because I know I’m always welcome. I know this can be annoying sometimes, but Crissy is always nice to me. We have fun, laugh quite a bit, and I appreciate it. But that’s just an added bonus. The most important thing is that she loves my kids, and she’s not pretending. The kids love her back and ask about her often when they are with me. That not only makes me happy, but it also gives me peace of mind. Heck, I think she’s even been to more soccer games than I have! To top it off, she does Maitane’s hair, paints her nails, and talks about fashion, all that girly stuff which falls beyond my abilities.
Ok, I better start getting ready for Martin Luther King’s Day now.