Thursday, November 28, 2013

The holiday celebration blog

I realize that many of the few posts I've written this year were recorded on holidays, my attempt to capture the importance of these ceremonial days and communicating to the world that we participate in the same world you do, even if we aren't there in person.
Today is, of course, American Thanksgiving, and in time-honored tradition, I stayed up late making "lesson plans" for the activity I would do in Blake's class.  It's a strange thing, celebrating a holiday not in the same location as your fellow countrywomen and men, in particular around the fact that no American children actually probably have school on Thanksgiving - that's the day they're getting to sleep in and have fun with far-flung cousins or friends while the parents drink too much wine and fall asleep in front of the Cowboys game.  We, on the other hand, well, we have to go to work, and school, and face questions about Thanksgiving being more important than Christmas, and do you give presents, etc.  Which are fine, and all, but it's not the same.
I was also doing some late-night baking to get a jump on the chores of the day, so by the time I turned in, it was really late, or really early, depending on how you choose to look at it.  It certainly felt late.  This morning was the cacophony of chaos that is characteristic of most of our mornings at the moment: protests about not wanting to go to nursery, not wanting to get dressed, not wanting to get up - sometimes even in that order!  It is very, very, very wearing on a poor sleep-deprived mama.

So while Noah should have gone to nursery so that I could concentrate fully on explaining the meaning of Thanksgiving to thirty 5-year-old's, as it was I told him he could be my "assistant" and the three of us headed up the hill to school.  About two minutes after we left the house, I realized I hadn't brushed my teeth.  That's what kind of a morning it was.  Fortunately my friend Jenny had some gum and saved me from hopefully being known as "Blake's Mom with the Bad Breath".
The kids were sweet and it was nice to be in their classroom and see them interacting.  They made some really fantastic turkey handprints and it was a joy to see their creativity, dedication to the task, cooperation, and general good-naturedness.  They're a cute bunch and I think they enjoyed my visit.  Noah was remarkably also well-behaved so I was super grateful that he got to participate.  I think he was proud of his getting to be there.
After an hour with the kids, Noah and I got to go off and get ready for the rest of the day, but we stopped first at a cafe for some QT.  He's going through a spell which is really difficult to understand, and he certainly can't explain it in much other than growls, snarls, fists, and tears.  In the little cafe, though, over his hot chocolate and my latte, things felt peaceful.  And that was a nice respite.

Then back out into the world of activity - to the butcher to pick up the turkey and the rest of the food, back home to start getting it all into the oven.  Before we knew it Blake was home from school, and then Matt got back from his business trip just after 6.  We got to Skype with Granny and Grandpa which was very nice and everyone is counting the days til they come for Christmas.  Bishy arrived around 6:30 and is going to stay the weekend, and after a pretty tasty meal (still can't get the timing right!), the rest of the house is asleep now - and I am very ready to crash myself.

If anything I think Thanksgiving Day is itself the gift - the chance for us all to take a moment to reflect on all that is good in our lives, and also remember those who are going through tough times, missing loved ones, or have less to be thankful for.  I feel I generally abide by a philosophy of gratitude, recognizing that there are so many things to be thankful for, mindful of, and attentive to [gack - scary sentence alert!  ending on all those hanging prepositions!].  I have been lucky to have the best parents ever who have always supported my choices and been great cheerleaders and friends, and I couldn't imagine life without Matt and the boys.  Not to mention the wonderful friends, family members and colleagues who make life so rich.

If I don't fall asleep before my head hits the pillow, I'll say my thanks and feel grateful for this day.  I hope you've had a joyous day whether you celebrated Thanksgiving or not.  Let's hope I don't leave it tuntil Christmas to do another post...
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