Life etc., Vancouver

Giving Thanks

It’s Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend, so naturally I’ve been spending time thinking about the things I’m grateful for. Being able to spend time creating art, feeling the push of inspiration from so many wonderful artists that got me to start selling my own work, the support of my parents and friends…there are so many things I’m grateful for; I really feel like everything is falling into place in my life. But since this is the first Thanksgiving I’ve spent with just John, myself and my stepson, thoughts of FAMILY have been dominating this weekend.

John & JT on the seawall

I haven’t shared too much on this blog about my family. Quite frankly, I’m kind of paranoid when it comes to oversharing on the internet. But I can’t really talk about how grateful I am to be able to give my stepson, JT, a stable home and be vague at the same time, so here goes:

I am so grateful that JT is living with us now. It’s been a long, long 8 year battle with his mom, who has basically done everything she could to keep his father out of his life. John & I started dating when JT was just 4 years old. We were already good friends, so when John was going through a nasty break-up, I was there for him. It quickly became something more than friendship & within a couple of months, we were living together. That was just about 9 years ago now. Crazy!

From day one John’s ex acted bizarrely & used visitation with the kids as a way to torment him. She picks up & moves without warning every year (that means a new school every year too). She cancels scheduled visits by simply refusing to answer the door or the phone. She changes her phone number so we can’t even call. It’s been a long, exhausting court battle to just get regular weekend visits. So to finally have JT living with us full time? It’s something we never dared imagine would happen.

JT has been doing really well since he moved in with us. Without the weight of living in an explosive home where you know a big fight is looming around every corner, he’s just *happy*. He honestly looks like a different person.

He’s made friends at school and is thrilled to be allowed to bring them home after school. The biggest problem we have with him is that he talks too much in class! I really couldn’t ask for a better kid.

The only downside is that since we moved out to BC, we’re too far away from the rest of John’s family to be able to do big family dinners with all the aunts, uncles, cousins etc. Even all of our friends went out of town this weekend. So, for our first Thanksgiving as a family of 3, we wanted to do something special without trying to emulate the big turkey dinners we’re used to having at my mother-in-law’s house. Making turkey and mashed potatoes and the whole shebang for 3 people? Kind of depressing.

We managed to have a lovely day anyway, starting with a walk along the seawall around Stanley Park and finishing stuffed to the gills by the Thanksgiving spread put out by Hamburger Mary’s, a Vancouver institution. We had turkey, ham, Harvard beets, butternut squash, creamed turnips, mashed potatoes, carrots, brussel sprouts…so much food! Pumpkin pie to finish the meal off, of course. It was all delicious and we practically rolled our way back to the car, just as John called the “Big couch!” for when we got home.

the Thanksgiving spread at Hamburger Mary’s

All in all? Not a bad Thanksgiving. 🙂

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