Jaden planned to come to #Houston for #Thanksgiving. He loves the idea of being with family and it would literally just be him and me. I asked him if he wanted to spend the holiday in #KansasCity with some of my #family. He didn’t hesitate to say yes to that suggestion. So we planned to meet in Kansas City, MO for Thanksgiving.
Jaden arrived several hours before me and was retrieved from the airport by my sister Jamica. They had a chance to hang out at her house with her kids, including my three little nephews. The new baby, Trey, was born just weeks before and I was so excited to see him. I’ve noticed that the older I get, the more I love cuddling the new babies. My nephew, Amir (4), likes to check up on me every now and then and will video chat with me. Sometimes he calls from such random places, like under his mother’s bed! Amir is also crazy about Jaden. I couldn’t wait for those two to get together!
I finally made it to Kansas City after working that day. A few of my nieces came by and
my great nephews. It was so good to see them and it still took me a while to wrap my head around the fact that my nieces were so old and had children! My little brother, Keion, should totally live in Portland. With his long dreads and free spirit, I could really see him loving Portland! Jaden doesn’t recall all the time he’d spent with this part of my family when he was a toddler and school aged child. It was fun to hear some of the stories they all recalled. Many of the stories I didn’t even remember! I had so many babysitters back then. Jaden even got tae kwon do lessons from his uncle Keion and we went to a nascar style indoor racing arena. We also hung out on the front porch and reminisced. That’s something I haven’t done is so many years. It was great!
Jaden and I introduced the family to cards against humanity. That statement stand alone!
When it came to the holiday meal, we all pitched in. Jaden made prime rib and pound cake. I showed Jamica how to make dressing that Momma C. taught me to make years ago. There were Brussels sprouts, mac & cheese, green bean casserole (which I totally don’t eat!), smoked turkey and a host of desserts. Keion even treated us to ribs that he’s perfected on the grill. The technique he taught me I’ve already tried at home and yes, it’s the bomb! (I bet you’re wondering what that technique is :)). I taught my oldest niece, Azia, to make gravy. It was just a lot of fun to spend time with family that I haven’t spent time with in years. Jaden reconnected with family he doesn’t really remember but I’m glad he did.
Since we were there for such a short period of time, I hadn’t planned to branch out and
see all the extended family. I did, however, take Jaden to meet two of my uncles. I’ll tell you about uncle June…he’s lived in the same house for as long as I can remember. From the time I was little I always heard about the time he spent in his basement. Back then, they didn’t call it a man cave, but it’s certainly a man cave! When I first laid eyes on Uncle June, I almost cried. He looked so much like my dad and it has been years since I’d seen him. It warmed my heart. Jaden, Keion, Uncle June & I hung out down in the man cave for a bit as he told stories about growing up with my dad. He told me a little more about my dad than I would have liked to know…lol…but we all laughed and I will cherish moments like that forever.
A small fact about me is that I don’t do gatherings well. I am a textbook extroverted introvert. Most people don’t believe me but the ones who know me best know that’s the truth. This is a struggle for me at times because Jaden is the same way, with the exception of family gatherings. Jaden LOVES anything that has to do with family, whether it’s his family or someone else’s. He loves it. I did this for him this time, and it was good for me too. I’m so glad we had a chance to hang out with my family this past Thanksgiving and I look forward to seeing them more over the coming years. Hopefully they will make it to Houston one holiday to hang with us.