PRE-TURKEY: I hit the weekend with a fierce determination to get my glucose levels down, while being the ultra-efficient mother-cook-hostess, of course. Dose aggressively for bowl of wheat-free breakfast cereal – check. Drop the girls at school – check. Drive straight to Safeway for early am shopping with my plucky 3-year-old in tow, delighted that I shall “beat the holiday rush” – check. But NOooo. Others have arrived before me. Many of them. And the store is STOCKING, meaning piles and carts full of cardboard boxes block some aisles every few feet. As I bump past these roadblocks, backing into and rolling over other frustrated non-morning-person early birds like myself, grumpily excusing ourselves as we reach over each other for the cranberries, a chorus of “I WANT DOWN!” reverberates. That’s just my 3yr-old, who now loves to wallllkkkk.
Grab nearest Winnie the Pooh balloon and thrust it at child so as to continue shopping – check. But it doesn’t take long until I’m sweating, heart-pounding, angrily throwing stuff into my cart (no need for any remote connection to Thanksgiving). I make it to the check-out, but forget to sign for my purchase, ’cause I’m frantically semi-aware that there was a LIST of some sort involved here… Manage to nod to the packer that yes, he should accompany us to the parking lot, but CANNOT FIND MY CAR. I show him 3 or 4 silver mini-vans and perhaps drool a little before it miraculously dawns on me that SUGAR MIGHT HELP. Eat generous amount of glucose tabs – check. Make mental note to give thanks for “help out” at the supermarket – check, check.
TURKEY: Have streamlined the menu to three dishes (plus store-bought pies , so cooking goes smoothly (especially since one of the three just gets coated with butter and stuck in the oven for 3 hours! Ha!) Commence eating – check. Commence injecting – check. Commence eating more… Commence injecting more… Cut self off – check. Must’a had about 85 carbs altogether (including pumpkin pie sans crust), which I decide is not bad considering my CDE once told me that a full plate of food at a place like Chevy’s can run up to 175 carbs! Also, evening BG: 136. Pat self on back – check. Give silent thanks for good D-days.
Commence watching home videos – ooch. Realize that all existing footage of me in a bikini is taken during the years my first two children were toddlers — when I was in the worst physical shape of my life. Try to look cheerful as family and dear friends watch my pasty thighs traversing the camera at various angles. Cringe. Give not-so-silent thanks that I will never, ever again be so run-down, exercise- and sleep-deprived as I was then. Make mental note that diabetes Dx has a lot to do with that - check.
POST-TURKEY: Friday moring — drive off in the pouring rain (first of the year!) toward what turns out to be a quaint Mexican cowboy town, San Juan Batista, that appears to be lost in time. Lunch on Pupusas, guacamole and chips… attempt to count carbs while sipping on wine and enjoying the “date.” Decide to guess carbs and enjoy. Tromp around the mission in the rain, dutifully appreciating each fresco. Feel guilty and decide to test – check. Commence “correcting” – check. Learn half by accident that San Juan Batista’s famous traditional Mexican Christmas Musical is opening that night. Run like crazy people to the Teatro box office, on the other side of town, to grab the LAST TWO TICKETS. Feel slightly faint and test again – check. Ask partner to share in thanksgiving that insulin correction factor did not produce fainting episode while running through traditional cowboy town mud puddles, abundant this weekend.
Dine on basque shrimp and salad, and head to the local rendition of “La Pastorela,” which turns out to be Broadway-quality AMAZING — a bit like Don Quixote meets Jesus Christ Superstar, with a dash of the Cockettes thrown in. In this Latino tale of the shepherd’s discovery of the baby Jesus, they even managed to squeeze in a rendition of “Wish We All Could be California Girls.” Wild! And all performed not on the pulpit, but smack in the middle of the most awe-inspiring mission church. Brightly painted, with cathedral-height ceilings that span out to make it the largest mission church built of adobe, this place has been functioning for over 200 years. And look how these energetic players breathe life into it every year! Driving home the next morning, give thanks out the window for breathing new life into old traditions — i.e. having the energy to do so. Every year.