Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. My favorite holiday. I’m not sure why this is. Thanksgiving was always just okay at my house growing up. I think part of why I love it so much now is because I love food, especially comfort food. What’s more comforting than melted marshmallows atop sugar-filled yams and mashed potatoes covered in gravy? Nothing.
Since I moved out of my mom’s house when I was 16, I never really learned how to make Thanksgiving dinner. The first Thanksgiving I spent with my now-husband was when we were dating. I thought I’d be super mature and make duck….in a crock pot. A crock pot. I also made pie and rolls. We ate rolls that day.
The evening ended with us driving through the quiet desert neighborhoods, enjoying the beautiful breeze through the windows. Okay that’s how it started, but it soon spiraled out of control and ended with John yelling out the window. Also, he was shaking his fist toward the heavens. Literally. Back then, when things didn’t go well, I grew a second head. It was that second head he was really mad at.
Fast-forward 13 years and I’m fully domesticated. I get a 20 pound bird so the kids have leftovers (13 years ago I didn’t even know birds got that big) and make a ton of stuff most of which I will eat because I live with five of the pickiest eaters. Ever. I mean, what kid doesn’t like mashed potatoes? All. Four. Of. Mine.
I think I love Thanksgiving for what it stands for. It happens in autumn, which is my favorite season and I’ve already covered my food obsession. I love it because it’s a whole day set aside to give thanks. I was thinking about it as I watched my 7-year-old nap this afternoon.
She fell asleep next to me as I lay reading. I turned to face her and marveled at the fact we lay the same way in our sleep. We were a human example of symmetry, she and I. Facing each other with our backs curved out and our knees drawn up, our heads nearly touching on the long pillow, I wondered if, from above, we made the shape of a heart.
After my youngest son survived meningitis as a newborn, I thought I’d never be so thankful. Until June. Until June when my 7-year-old daughter fell and crushed her head, broke her eye socket, her cheek bone. Until June when she finally woke up after the longest 51 minutes of my entire life. Until June when we got home from the hospital and cried together as I washed the blood from her hair. Until June.
Stayg’s illness never produced a visible physical symptom. Bronte’s injuries were literally written across her face, her temple, tangled in her beautiful red hair, slithering like a serpent up the back of her skull. Stayg’s body fought hard against his illness; Bronte’s crushed under the weight of her injuries.
When my oldest- a son- was born, I became a mom. When my daughter was born, I became a mother. For those two, and the two that followed, I am grateful. I have so much to be thankful for. Bronte’s recovery was nothing short of miraculous (I firmly believe had it not been for the hundreds of people praying for her around the world, she wouldn’t have made it). The EMT’s are surprised. The specialists are in awe. And I am thankful. I am thankful for my small tribe of a family. I am thankful that God healed my broken places after experiencing Bronte’s accident. I am thankful that John stuck it out while I learned how to stop growing a second head whenever I couldn’t deal.
Tomorrow I’m going to make a ton of food. I’ll eat way too much and then feel sort of gross and then check next week’s spin class schedule at the gym. John will get a little irritated because we don’t have the NFL Network and he’s going to try watching the 49er game on the computer and the feed will be jacked up (although he doesn’t know this yet). I’ll make a very organized game plan for Black Friday even though there’s a high probability I’ll sleep through the alarm.
There will be laughter.
We may not change out of our pajamas.
And we will be thankful.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.