We picked up my mom from the airport last night, and the kids had their 10 minutes of “we’re shy, we’re not going to talk because there’s a new person here”, but by the time we reached baggage claim, they were chatting and showing off and trying to make her laugh. At dinner I left the table for about 10 seconds to grab some butter, and by the time I returned, my mom had pounced on the window of opportunity and had already told the kids some embarrassing story about when I was little. Mothers have a special part of their brains that retains all mortifying and ridiculous things their children do, just ripening and waiting to be released once said children are adults, trying to appear serious and responsible, then you hear: “Remember that time you made grilled cheese by putting cheese and bread into the toaster?” (For the record, it was my little brother who can claim that particular feat, and yes, we still ask him to make us grilled cheese sandwiches every opportunity that we can).
Looks like we are ready for the Thanksgiving feast tomorrow, and looks like we are feeding the neighborhood, considering the number of bags Gary brought home from the grocery store. I helped put everything away, wondering the entire time why we need two of everything, where he expected us to put everything, and exactly how long I will be eating turkey, corn, french fries, and pie after Thanksgiving, because we could set up a soup kitchen tomorrow, feed the town’s hungry, and STILL have food left over.
In honor of the holiday, I was thinking about everything I am grateful for, besides a pantry in the kitchen to contain Gary’s Thanksgiving Emporium. It has taken a lot of twists, turns, and death-defying stunts to get to this point in my life, and though not all of has been fun or pleasant, I’m thankful that I am where I am, able to recognize and value genuine love; that I respect myself enough to have walked away from situations that could have been devastating; that I have had some very special kids dance into my life who took me by surprise and discovered a part of my heart I didn’t even know I had; that the darkness of others’ hearts has not tainted mine; and that no matter what tomorrow brings, I know I am strong enough to take it and keep going.