Here it is, Thanksgiving Day, and I am not making a turkey. There is no bread in the over, no pie cooling on the rack, no clink of glasses, no shovelling of forks.
It's not that we don't like Thanksgiving over here; we definitely do. It's one of my favorite holidays, in fact. But I don't know how to make a turkey. And I've never particularly enjoyed sweet potatoes. With only the four of us here, and only two of us really eating, it just doesn't make a lot of sense to attempt a big meal filled with exotic things that definitely don't come out of a box.
I will miss the laughter of my mom's dining room table. I will miss the awkward pauses as members of my extended family try to catch up on one another's lives without getting too involved. I will miss the slice of custard pie I always swipe from my grandfather's kitchen.
While the festivities of the holiday may be lost on me this year, the meaning is not. I have never in my 28 years been so thankful for everything I have. Everybody always says how thankful they are that they have food to eat and that they have family to share that food with. I'd be lying if I said that as a kid I didn't roll my eyes at the sentiment as I waited impatiently for my brother to pass the mash.
Only now, this year, do I truly understand the meaning of Thanksgiving. Ironic that this meaning should come to me on the first year I'm not doing anything by way of celebration.
The intense struggle of the past two years has culminated in a beautiful family, secure in love and (right now) finances. I look around at my cluttered living room, and I am at peace. I hear my babies laughing, the extent of their problems being that I no longer allow them to wear shoes to bed.
No matter how you are celebrating Thanksgiving - or not celebrating, as the case may be - I wish everyone not only a happy day, but a happy life.