I know it’s a complete cliche, but I feel the need to partake in one of my family’s many Thanksgiving traditions. Since I will not be spending the holidays with my family and am giving up my usual mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce in a can and Brown N’ Serve rolls in order to prepare the meal my husband always associates with Thanksgiving, I thought I’d take this moment to do something my family always did which his doesn’t really seem to do: give thanks.
Don’t get me wrong, they are always thankful for the gathering of family and the admitedly delicious food on the table, but when I was growing up, before we were ever allowed to eat a bite of turkey (or stuffing, my personal favorite), we each had to go around the table and tell what we were thankful for. While we were waiting for our meal to arrive each Thanksgiving, I would ponder what I wanted to give thanks for. I wanted to make sure my list was sincere enough to make my mom proud, but also short enough so I could start cramming rolls into my mouth. I know it kind of goes against the whole point of the list, but I was a kid and I was mostly thankful for the stuffing, which I usually only got once a year unless it was on a restaurant buffet.
My mother was not much of a cook when I was a kid. Most of our Thanksgivings were spent at large church gatherings where every family brought one item to share with their assigned table (my mom usually signed us up for rolls or stuffing fresh from the box) or eating out at Sizzler or if the child support check arrived at just the right time, a fancy buffet with a table full of desserts to pick from. I always got pumpkin pie. Well, it was always one of my desserts.
My wierd childhood aside, while my son is sleeping, my husband is mesmerized by the TV and my in-laws are still visiting with the rest of the family, here’s my list. Dinner isn’t waiting on me to finish it, so it will be just the right mix of sincerity and length to hopefully cover everything I am greatful for this year.
-My father still being here, despite the nasty scare he gave us all. He is my rock and always has been, so I’m so happy I have more time with him.
-My son, who has truly taught me what love is all about. He is the most amazing person I know and no matter how bad my day is or how stressed out I feel, a smile from him and everything else melts away.
-My husband, who can drive me absolutely crazy and then make me laugh so hard I cry in the span of two minutes. Even though we squabble sometimes, I can’t imagine sharing my life with anyone else.
-The best friends I could ever ask for. They laugh with me (and at me). They cry with me too. They challenge me in ways I sometimes wish they wouldn’t, but they have helped make me who I am today. I don’t know where I’d be without them.
-My family, who can be thoroughly embarrasing at times, who can fight and argue and just want to throttle each other, but when things get rough and one of us are in trouble, drop everything to come together and support each other. Heck, they’ll be raking my dad’s leaves and helping him create a horrible winter wonderland of giant blow up penguins that will no doubt mortify me when I go to visit, but at least they are there for him.
-My job. While the source of most of my stress, it also offers me great co-workers who help me deal with said stress and also keep me laughing every day at lunch. Even my kids aren’t that bad. Heck, every now and then they even do crazy things like send me emails or drop by to see me after they’ve graduated and tell me just how much I’ve meant to them.
-My house, which may not seem like much to a lot of people, but is one of the first real homes I’ve had in my life (we were always apartment people growing up). I love it, creepy murder hallway basement and all.
-My health. Yeah, I know it’s just as trite as the list, but a collegue just lost their 30 year old son, so I’m thinking being healthy, happy and fairly well-adjusted should be pretty high on the list.
-Chocolate. I know this may be like praying for selfish things (which I was always chastised for), but I’m just happy the stuff exists. What stress my husband and friends can’t help me to overcome, frozen turtle cookie dough, a Godiva truffle or even just a good ol’ Heath bar can always help me get over.
-The TV shows Lost, The Office, My Name is Earl, Scrubs and Bones which help me to remember people can write good TV all have to be reality shows and crappy teenage dramas about overpriveledged kids who either don’t exist or shouldn’t. I’m glad some entertainment out there is actually entertainment.
I have more I am thankful for, but my in-laws are back, so my fun is over.