Thanksgiving is perhaps the most special of holidays in the Nilles household, but it hasn't always been that way, As a child, I was forced to visit a plethra of family members that barely knew I existed. My brother and I always were the victim of horrible first name mishaps and mistakes, which was funny because I would be called Matt when my brothers name was Mike and, and in turn, Mike was mistakingly called Craig or some other name that wasn't Greg.
Confused? Not as confused as I was when I buckled into the family car every 4th Thursday in November.Why did we have to go to Aunt Betty's house in Wisconsin? When would we leave? Why would my dad put me through this? I was more than confused. But as we got older, somethin finally clicked in my dads head.
It wasn't about him being happy to see his side of the family anymore, it was about our immediate family getting to spend some more time together. I'm 21, going on 22 in a couple weeks now, my brother is 18, and my sister, Christine, is 17. Now that I have moved out on my own and my brother is away at college, my family has gone from constant physical love and endearment to mental. It's not our fault, life changes quicker than anything.
When I arrived at my old house in Mundelein, a smile immediately was planted on my face. I knew that there would be no stress, no discomfort this Thankgiving, just catching up with my brother and sister and of course, my parents. There would be no unecessary car rides for infinate amounts of time, no fighting for a fold-up chair come dinner time and no, there would be no children's cartoons plaguing the TV before the feast. It was my family only, finally.
As I stepped into the estate, I felt a warmth that only an immediate family could give off. My mom, stopped preparing the dinner and greeted me at the door with a full hug and kiss. My dad, closely behind her, also greeted me with a hug. My brother, fresh from Indiana University, popped up from behind the sofa he was laying on and said his "hello" while his eyes remained glued to the television.