Great volume has always been a part of our house.
Whatever we do, we seem to do it loud. I think we scare cousin Lydia when she comes.
Lately, Svea and Henry have been trying to find ways to join their once separate high-volume moments. I'll be in the kitchen and will hear one of them start fake laughing until the other joins in and they end on a high note. Or sometimes a low note. Sometimes they try to clear their throats at the same time and vary their pitch (which is no easy task). In the car, they will occasionally sing to the part of the song where they forget the words and they'll hold the last note, looking at each other sideways, until the volume reaches Outside Voice Range instead of Inside The Car Voice Range.
At first this was all very irritating. Then one day, for some reason, I found it funny. After Thanksgiving, it all made sense.
I like to think that Henry and Svea are holding rehearsals when they join pitches, that our search for harmony begins with our families at ages two and three and then branches out.
We went to Birmingham for Thanksgiving, but actually spent more time in the Odyssey than anything. Bottom line: we just tried to do too much. Big surprise there.
Thursday we dined with iHusband's family once everyone had arrived.
Henry slept through lunch, which was fine. Svea entertained by looking at her plate after the blessing when all was quiet and saying, "Yummy doo-doo."
Friday we drove to Decatur to eat with my family, and then drove back to Birmingham for the night. While in Decatur, this weird smush-each-other game started after lunch. I'm just glad nobody puked.
Henry caught butterflies with Bobbie and Svea talked on the phone a lot.
I think she was calling Mama J, who was actually there in the kitchen with her.
In these pictures so far you have not seen a game of football. But BELIEVE ME it was ever-present.
Saturday, we dove in head-first to the Auburn v. Alabama game in Auburn (about 2 hours away). Yeah for the Odyssey.
We were a Family Divided (they like to call it) as some of us were for AU and some for AL, but all of us had a favorite cheerleader (Trent, you are second favorite).
So we tailgated and cheered for Brooke cheering.
We even got to see the big truck that had Alabama stuff all over it.
Then Linda and I headed back to Birmingham while the rest of the gang went into the game.
For those of you who care, Auburn won for the 6th year in a row, the season is officially over, and Weagle Weagle Rammer Jammer Whatever.
All in all, some years Thanksgiving feels more about the food, some years more about the family you get to see, and some years it feels like it's more about the football. I remember Thanksgivings at my grandparents' Apartment B3 in Montgomery when the adults would sit around the Au v. AL game and the kids were allowed to roam the apt. complex for hours, walk the dog for hours, or play Barbies in the next room WITHOUT BEING LOUD for hours until the game was over. I remember thinking I was glad we were for the team with the navy uniforms because they looked much better on the tv than those white ones the other team was wearing. Clearly I GOT it back then, too.
Regardless of what this holiday was most about this year, it's helpful to view it as a rehearsal. It takes the pressure off getting it "just right" with out-of-town family to miss, obligations to navigate, passive language to perfect - I need multiple practices with these. Especially before I have to start hosting my own dinner.
Henry and Svea still lead in the volume category, and probably will in the years to come. As loud and fumbling as we are, I hope the coming Thanksgiving Rehearsals involve all the family we saw this year and more, all the food we ate this year and more, all the laughing and joy we felt this year and more.
On the way home, exhausted and driving in the rain, iHusband did ask if we could NOT do this again for maybe another year. I think Svea agreed (this is truly how she fell asleep):