Today we are eating this fine fellow. Well, actually, this is a previous year’s turkey, seeing as it is six o’clock in the morning and today’s turkey is sitting at room temperature, raw, waiting patiently to be salted, peppered, buttered, and stuffed. And then cooked.
Today, the fourth Thursday of November, we Americans are partaking in Thanksgiving, a holiday expressing our nation’s gratitude that the pilgrims did not die of hunger, were not eaten by cannibalistic savages, continued to procreate, and somewhere along the way created the cornbread stuffing recipe that has become my family’s Thanksgiving star. Sorry, Mr. Turkey, but when the family demands more stuffing (don’t make me use this fork for anything other than eating my delicious meal) and my dad inevitably has to make a quadruple recipe every year we eat together (I’ve seen the man use a plastic storage bin to mix all the ingredients together), you just don’t mess with perfection.
And so, in honor of this American tradition, I offer another American cliche, along with stuffed turkey (or honey glazed ham or tofurkey or turducken or…), an overabundance of food, the afternoon nap, the Cowboys game, and Chuck Norris.
I Am Thankful For:
- (The biggies, obv.) – My rad husband, who still laughs at my corny jokes, my impromptu dancing (or awkward jerking, same difference), and overall clumsiness, after nearly seven years of marriage. We still have fun, we still really like each other, and I can’t imagine doing any part of life without him. We get along, maybe because he’s easy-going and I’m awesome, or maybe because I can cook and he’s tidy, or maybe because we make beautiful children (you’re welcome, world), or maybe because he makes the money and I balance it, but really because often enough we realize we are in this together, we are each other’s best friend and MVP, I remember to pick up the dry-cleaning, and he knows my usual order at Taco Bell.
- My Bug, my heart, my funny bone, my witty little firstborn who is roughly my size now, despite not even being half-way to seven yet.
- My Bean, my little nugget of femininity, my snuggler, my cuddler, my Baby whose entire body still fits the contours of my chest perfectly.
- My parents, who are currently racking up Frequent Flyer miles zipping around the country to spoil their grandkids, who are readily available, even spread so thin, who are constantly in touch, despite living two states away, and who gave me such an impressive arsenal for Turkey Day, the original 48-hour chefs.
- My brother, my sisters, and all of their collected significant others (peewees included), an ever-growing octopus of family stretching across the country, a gaggle of people who genuinely get along really, really well, even confined under one roof (it’s been tested, and we passed). This includes you, South Carolina. You know, in nature, eagles could eat gamecocks if they really wanted to, right?
- Hubs’ family, all of them, none of whom can give me the sordid pleasure of griping about my in-laws. What kind of people are you?! Whenever we get together, we always have fun, we always make lots of noise, we always eat and drink well, and we never get bored.
And then there are the little things that I am thankful for, the things that go unspoken everyday, the things I get to witness and be a part of, the things that make up the stuff of life.
Driving every morning to school with both my buggers in the backseat, Bug making his sister laugh so hard she shakes. Walking in on my kids and seeing Bug laying on the floor beside her, letting her grab his nose, his hair, his chin and not even flinching. The way Bean beams at me when she learns something new, like kicking her feet in her bathtub makes the water go Splash! Waking up on the weekends with both my sweet peas squished between us, Bean watching in awe as her big brother cannonballs onto Hubs, a flailing ball of noise as they wrestle. The way my daughter curls against my husband’s shoulder when he carries her, and I can instantly imagine that first Father-Daughter dance. The way my son is learning to be a man by the flawless example of his father. If I tried really hard to come up with a more perfect match in life, or a more amazing boy, or a more extraordinary girl, my brain would explode.
And on and on and on, being present while my children grow and learn and like each other, being captivated by their beauty and intelligence, being incapable of truly expressing how disproportionately blessed I am, being awestruck at all the loving, generous, clever, fun, patient, thoughtful, hilarious people I get to call my family.
Being a part of something grand, something infinite, something beautiful and divine.