I love my family. I do, really. I have, hands down, the best relationship with my mother - far exceeding that of anyone else I know. I love her, absolutely, respect so much about what she's done and how she's done it, and I know that she thinks I'm the bees' knees. But my siblings? Whole other situation - and nothing drives that home faster than spending the holidays with them.
I actually managed to get thru the day without an all out brawl with my brother. Okay, he was violently ill, and was only at my mother's house for about an hour. I managed to not speak to him at all, and we got thru the first Thanksgiving in living memory without the two of us screaming at each other. But lest I get too cocky and start to think I have one of those happy, peaceful families, my sister and I got into a fight. Or I should say, my sister got into a fight, my having learned painfully that the best way to keep the peace was to remain perfectly silent. So she yelled at me, and my mother (because you know that everything is always the mother's fault) and then stormed out. But even though I stayed quiet, I was SO mad, and stressed and it just cast a shadow over the whole day. She came back, of course, being blessed with one of those tempers that blow up and over quickly, and it was as though nothing had happened. Meanwhile, it's four days later and I'm still pretty pissed off about it.
It's strange to me, how even as adults, we continue to fight the same fights we did thirty years ago. Or twenty five, I guess, since she's only just turned thirty, and it's unlikely that we were arguing over who was more important when she was two months old. Maybe we were. I just know that she reacted as though her child was being bitterly abused and stifled and I reacted as though my child's thoughts and feelings weren't being given their full importance. I still think I was right... but mostly, I think it's sad that we can't move past being little girls with each other, even to the extent of continuing the fight thru our own small daughters.