With Thanksgiving and Chanukah overlapping this year, there have been a gazillion things all over the Interwebs about the unusual convergence of these two holidays. There are always a gazillion “things I am thankful for” posts around this time of year anyway. And then there’s the fact that a wordy list is one of my favorite types of blog posts. I am thankful for many things, I am cranky about a few things, and I have many happy and some less than happy Thanksgiving memories. So without further ado, on this Erev Thanksgiving, I bring you the But She Had So Much Potential Thanksgiving blog post:
*”At the end of the week, Christopher Robin said ‘Now!’ So he took hold of Pooh’s front paws and Rabbit took hold of Christopher Robin, and all of Rabbit’s friends and relations took hold of Rabbit, and they all pulled together…”
I am incredibly thankful for my friends and relations. I am constantly astonished at the love they continue to throw my way. I love them for their intelligence, laughter, wit and snark, for the fun they bring. For my lifetime of shared, cherished memories. I am grateful for the times I am not allowed to disappear too far under my rock, for the pushing, prodding and poking, and for the wagons that circle around me (especially this past year). Someone recently told me I am among their top 13 or 14 people. Seriously, how cool is that?
The Things One and Two. The amazing talents, quirks, traits, uniqueness, humor, and even the incredibly frustrating, annoying stuff that makes each of them, them. I learn from them every day, and am forever grateful for their love and for their very existence.
Pop Chips nom nom nom crunchy salty and not fried
The saving grace to getting up at the butt crack of dawn for the daily, 20 minute early morning commute to Thing One’s school: very early morning looks different each and every day. Plants, trees, grass, colors and animals transform almost daily. Every few days the light, sky, sun and air change. Every few weeks, seasonal transitions are visible. We drive through ice, rain, snow, wind, darkness, incredibly dense horror film-like fog, crisp clear winter sun, golden slanted autumn sunshine… Vibrantly colored leaves, bare branches, lush green foliage. One morning, no kidding, we saw a gorgeous, vividly pink streaked sunrise, a double rainbow and a hot air balloon all within the space of less than ten minutes! Making the same drive each morning, much of it on country roads, has been a lesson in noticing the modifications that constantly take place within that 20 minute radius. For all of my incessant griping about my Green Acres existence (goodbye, city life!) and that insanely early wake up call, I am thankful for the mindfulness this ride with my child brings each morning. (well, ok… many mornings. Sometimes it’s all a blurry haze of diet coke, a semi-blind interstate on-ramp, and pajama pants in the drop off line).
Thing One’s first Thanksgiving, with The Hubs, his family, and my Bestie. I have a photo that captures a wonderful moment from that day – I’m sitting on the floor, hugely grinning, nursing a 3 or 4 month old Thing One, just being overwhelmingly happy. There was also deep fried turkey which was insanely delicious and involved no injury. Except of course, to the turkey. (gobble gobble)
Books. And more books.
The Thanksgiving immediately following my father’s death, the achingly enormous hole in the room competing with my very large, weeks away from giving birth to Thing Two belly. And the Thanksgiving following, in which I learned that love, new life, and joy can and will exist immediately adjacent to a slightly less aching hole in the room.
Hot Cinnamon Spice Black Tea No Fat Latte at a local coffee shop. Supporting a local business while indulging in a seriously caffeinated, spicy, frothy hot beverage, minus the sugar or calories of a chai tea. Alone or meeting up with friends in a cozy, inviting setting, with wifi, that looks nothing like a large national chain. And an ongoing conversation that always winds around back to the social media ambivalence of my favorite barrista.
A Thanksgiving gone sadly and angrily off the rails during one extremely precarious teen year or another – and a daring rescue during which I was whisked away from my very dysfunctional holiday (worthy of a very special episode of it’s own After School Special) by my high school beau (he of the recent historical cemetery visit) to the home of his very welcoming family. An early lesson in chosen family.
My grandmother’s turkey and her no matter what I do, I can never attain the crispy on the outside, moist on the inside roasted potatoes. What’s up with that? ( I am so afraid the answer is schmaltz!)
Various adult libations that bring yumminess, silliness, and assorted degrees of hair on the chest fortitude.
All of my nieces and nephews and step-nephews… who are funny and kind, who are growing up so incredibly fast! They make holidays and family visits insane, funny and a chaotic good time – I wouldn’t trade that.
Boots. Totally diggin’ on the boots this year. To the ankles, to the knees, tucked in, underneath, fuzzy, sleek, heels, flats, buckles and straps, oh so many many boots. Thank you, oh thank you, shoe gods.
Thanksgiving weekend at the home of a college boyfriend; a late night, sneaky visit to the guest room; a momentarily unsuccessful attempt at noislessness; coming down the stairs the next morning for breakfast while overhearing the following err, uh, conversation: “you’d better not get that girl pregnant!” So much for my previously undefeated record of all boyfriends’ parents adoring me… (and we’ve got another, “oh crap did I really just throw this one out there on the blog for all to see?” moment.. gah!)
The picture of my nephew on his first Thanksgiving, taken while holding him up in front of the turkey, which was by far larger than he was. He was, and still is, infinitely more delicious. (I won’t be there this year, so I’m hoping his parents will take the same picture of the newest, littlest nephew! hint, hint..)
My first grade Hebrew School students who bring the happy and the silly each Sunday morning. They enjoy class, their friends, learning the Alef Bet and holiday traditions. They want to talk about ideas behind Mitzvot and making the world a more fair place… that make up their religion, history and culture. The Littles are cuddly and so open to everything. They ask wonderful questions, (if god is everywhere, is he up my nose? is the Torah true? what day of creation did the meteor crash into the earth and kill all the dinosaurs?) and should remind all of us that none of this has to be forced upon them. I love watching my former students become Bar and Bat Mitzvah, and get all verklempt seeing how far their learning has taken them, how much they have accomplished. I really believe that if they learn now, they will be able to make solid decisions about their spirituality, later. I am thankful to be a part of that process with them.
Netflix. Facebook. Tumblr. Pinterest. And this.
Music of the 1990’s and the early 2000’s (The ohs? The double-ohs? The zeros? The zips? The nadas? The naughties? The aughts? I never quite figured out what to call the first decade of the new millennium). The music of my early adulthood has been making me ridiculously happy as of late. Visceral, auditory memories. Unbidden smiles. Sighs. Out loud laughs. Once or twice, goosebumps. Thank you, Pandora!
Be mindful of what you have and what you want – remember grace, faith and be thoughtful of the things you appreciate most in the world.
(*chapter two of Winnie-The-Pooh, In Which Pooh Goes Visiting and Gets into a Tight Place)