The wonderful holiday season has officially begun. People will be stuffing their faces, running around like maniacs, and spending time with their loved ones. Or liked ones. Or ones you’re forced to be in a room with. Thanksgiving Day is such a wonderful way to start. A fat-ass-a-thon started by the pilgrims at Plymouth rock (more like a pebble, in reality, if you’ve ever visited), we should consider ourselves healthier versions of them, because their feast lasted for 3 days! But, we do have leftovers for a week, so I guess we’re even.
Anyway, I decided for our Thanksgiving week of preschool home school we would watch a you tube video about the first Thanksgiving. 🙁 and :/ . A little cartoon girl told her story about the Mayflower landing and how everybody got sick and her mommy and daddy died along with half the people who had arrived. She managed to work her way around to this part of the story multiple times- I swear she was begging for sympathy, but she was a cartoon for crap’s sake! I was just thinking this felt a little weird when I glanced over at Dax. He had that LOOK on his face that anyone who has spent time with a 4-year-old is very familiar with. It’s the one where you are trying to figure out if they are suddenly sad and confused, or if they just farted and are wondering if you’ve caught on yet. So, video stopped. I decided I’m going to do what I do. Explain shit to my kid. Kind of why I get a little irritated that with everything going on around us right now, so many are crying out “How are you going to explain this to your children?” With my mouth.
I gave Dax a brief (super brief) history lesson, addressing the death part,too, and then explained that this story has evolved into the Thanksgiving gatherings and feasts we have today. We say some grateful prayer before making our clothes scream for mercy. And, we spend time with family, that we all have agreed we are most grateful for. How robotic. I truly enjoy the projects the kids bring home around this time, where they draw and write about what they’re thankful for, really having put thought into it. Once you’re an adult, it becomes about food and football. So, I thought about the things we rattle off automatically that we’re thankful for, and thought – that’s not enough. We’re not thinking about WHY we’re thankful for these things, other than they’re there. Let’s dig a little deeper, so when we hug grandma before re-killing her turkey, we’re really thinking about why we’re giving thanks for her.
Family – Now that’s a can of worms,right? The holidays are the perfect time to appreciate spending time with relatives. Or, you can dread it if you’re the black sheep of the family. But, family is always first on the grateful list. We have those that we depend on, those we enjoy their company, and those we avoid like the plague. Usually the ones we avoid, though, are the ones that piss us off at the nerve of what they have to say. It’s a twisty way to look at it, but even when they are TOTALLY wrong, they are only saying these things to us because they think they’re being helpful. They really do. That means they care about us. Not as much as they care about being right, but still… So, it’s 1 or 2 days a year. Say, “I appreciate your concern – ooh,pie!” and move on. This has worked for me for decades, and although I appear to have it all together (pause for laughter – we all know I’m a hot mess), I am surprised myself sometimes at the things that I can be told I do wrong, should do different, or why I’m going to Hell. Now that we’ve pushed aside the dreaded ones, we can concentrate on how much we really love having the rest in our lives. The aunt that never misses sending a birthday card, the grandma who makes every one of her grandchildren think they are the favorite – even though we all know it’s you 😉 , and the parents who have always put you first. Siblings that you can lean on and laugh with, nieces, nephews and cousins that you can’t wait to hear what’s going on in their lives because they make you smile. When you say thankful for family, you mean it.
Children – of course! How could you not be grateful for your sweet little miracles? Except they, by far, cause you more stress than anything else in your life. Even when they’re behaving, doing well, have it all together, depending on their age. They drive us crazy. With mayhem. With worry. With love. So, I am not just grateful that I have my 4 little heathen-schmoopies. I am SOOO grateful for who they are and what they bring to my life! Here’s why my kids are awesome: They run through the house screaming “BLOODY MURDER”. Screaming those actual words, because they heard me tell someone once that the kids were being too loud running around screaming bloody murder. It reminds me how quick and funny their sense of humor is, which is a kind of big deal in this house. It’s how we cope. They also do delightful things like calling everything by the wrong word, but what it should actually be, because it just makes sense. My toddlers have always called a shark a sharp, an antennae an an’tune’a, and they all still call hand sanitizer “hanitizer”. Then there’s the notes and cards. I don’t go 24 hours without somebody drawing me a picture, or writing me an “I love you, Mommy” note. I am so thankful for them.
Friends – Not just the ones you’ve had forever. Their support in your life can mean so much. They can also totally disappoint sometimes. They won’t always agree with you, they won’t always have time for you, it can make you sad. Then you need them and BOOM!, they’re there. Then there’s the new. What a blessing to meet new people, to share thoughts and stories, and suddenly be expanding your own personal circle! When you’re younger, you expect each friend you decide is a close one to fulfil every need. To have a good time with, to be able to talk to about anything, to go to when you need help. As you get older this seems ridiculous. Yes, some can still do all of it, but not everybody needs to fit all your needs perfectly. If you look around at the people you know, and stop thinking they have to be a perfect friend match, does it make your group grow? So many people to be thankful for!
Significant other – or lack thereof. Sometimes being alone is necessary, or temporary, or who cares? So you may be grateful to be independent. I am grateful for my better half for so many more reasons than the usual blah. He just gets me. And that sums it all up. I’m so thankful to have him in my life!
Let’s not forget all the “basics” that not all people are so fortunate to have. Home, car, food, modern medicine (keeping me alive right here, bitches!), education, toilet paper. If you think that last one isn’t important enough to be on the list, try to get through Thanksgiving Day without it!
I challenge each of you to get down into the nitty-gritty of your minds and hearts and think about what you’re REALLY grateful for on Thursday. What of the above could you look at in more depth, what 10 things can you list that isn’t above? I’ll get you started with some of mine – God, beer, my dog, books, beer……beer…….
Want to read more? Click HERE to go to the home page.