RC Week 10: Thankful for Family, Missing my Family
Friday, November 25, 2022
As I write this, I'm sitting, surrounded by family, recovering from a cold. I wasn't sure what I'd write this week for the RC week 10 recap, since it's a short week. This week I didn't get a whole lot of coding done, so it's time for the trope: the Thanksgiving post.
Of course, I'm thankful for my family who I'm surrounded by at this holiday. My two kids bring such joy and love (and frustration and sickness and expenses) into our lives, and I'm so glad they're part of our lives. My wife, who does so much to keep our family rolling and keep the kids fed, clothed, safe, and entertained. My mom and dad, who always open their home to us and help both my wife and I get a break from childcare when we come visit.
I'm also sad about those who I can't be with this holiday.
My grandma passed away a couple of years ago (recently enough that it's both fresh and distant). We honored her this Thanksgiving by making one of our family recipes that she'd make so often for us, called compres galuska1. One time years ago, my mom had my grandma teach us how to make it and recorded a video of the process. A few years ago, before she passed but after she wasn't able to make it anymore, I made a recipe with precise quantities from the video and vague instructions she had given us. Our plan this year was to make compres galuska to honor her and to share with my grandpa.
My daughter brought home a nasty cold from preschool (it was mild for her, but not for me). I caught the cold, and so did our toddler son. We brought it with us to Ohio when visiting my family, and consequently... We were not able to share the meal with my grandpa 💔. We were also not able to visit my other grandma 💔.
It's a very weird and unpleasant cocktail of feelings: Being thankful for being around my family and sharing food with them, but also knowing that our being here precludes others from being here.
The cooking worked out well. I was able to spend some really nice time with my mom and dad in the kitchen, cooking this deeply meaningful dish. We were all able to enjoy the fruits of our labor together (my parents, my wife, my kids, and me).
I also missed some of the other family members who can't be here with us. It's easy for my wife and me to attend all of my family's holidays, since her family's holidays are an almost entirely disjoint set from mine. My brother and his wife are not so fortunate, and so they have this tension for every holiday of where they're going to go. It's difficult logistically for them (their jobs are also less flexible than ours), and I feel for them. And I also miss them.
Thank goodness that even though we're far apart, we can get some semblance of together time. FaceTime is an absolute blessing at times like this. We're able to video call my grandparents who can't visit us, and we can still get some little dose of togetherness. We can see them, they can see our kids running around (their great-grandchildren!), and it's a great little wholesome moment. And we can keep group messages going, sharing so many little moments.
I've managed to stay offline more this week than usual, but not entirely intentionally—this cold has been kicking my butt. I'm going to go be with my family and spend a little more of this precious holiday weekend with them. And I'm going to re-up my cough drops. 👋
Compres galuska is a dish of seasoned pork tenderloin, "kinda mashed" potatoes, and dumplings. It's the world's ideal comfort food, in my opinion, which is not at all biased by years of my grandma making it for me2. The name is, we think, of Hungarian origin, but has been changed and we don't know entirely where it came from. It was used by my great-grandparents, and presumably earlier as well.
Making food for people is love. Each time I get to cook a meal for friends and family, it feels like a gift I'm receiving3.
Some people express love with words, or with gifts. I express it with food and drink. My favorite part of being a parent and spouse is being able to provide nutritious, delicious food for my kids and my spouse. My favorite part of this holiday weekend was cooking with my parents. At a previous company, on my last day, I brought in mini cheesecakes as a parting gift to say "love you all, I'll miss you." One of the hardest parts of the pandemic has been a diminished ability to host people for meals. That's letting up, finally.