The absence of a baby in my house is never more obvious than on holiday mornings when I fall back to sleep after being rustled awake by the five-year old. She has become self-sufficient and can toast her own waffle and glob enough butter on it to clog her arteries before she starts kindergarten.
The teenagers would sleep through a hurricane and the 9-year old is so responsible that he creeps out of bed without waking anyone. (On school days, he sets his alarm and settles at the kitchen table to do homework–I find him there on the days I am up early to walk at 6:30 a.m. After he finishes his homework, he takes a shower and then welcomes his best friend who arrives by 7:15 a.m. for “before-school care.” All without any adult direction.)
Thus it was that I muddled through a fuzzy dream and woke with bleary shock at 8:52 a.m. I was scheduled to work for an hour beginning at 9 a.m. . . . and my turkey was scheduled to be shoved into the oven at 9:00 a.m. So I stood in the kitchen wearing slippers and a sloppy purple robe smearing butter on my turkey . . . I was signed onto the computer to work by 9:00 a.m., but finished up my shift at 10:15 a.m. since I was still washing butter off my hands at 9:10 a.m.
I cooked the entire Thanksgiving feast and had it on the table by 1:30 p.m. One of my twins prepared the green-bean casserole. My 5-year old ate a couple of fistfuls of black olives, two crescent rolls and some turkey. My teenagers ate all the green bean casserole, turned up their noses at the dressing and sweet potatoes and corn souffle and guzzled their sparkling cider. My 9-year old ate only crescent rolls (“Mom, these rolls are fantastic!”), turkey and mashed potatoes.
By 2:00 p.m., I was consolidating leftovers into containers, washing serving bowls, throwing away paper plates (PAPER PLATES!) and picking meat from the turkey carcass. By 2:30 p.m., I was reading the newspaper, trying to ignore the children. At 4:30 p.m., I took the two younger children over to my mom’s where we said hello to her and great-grandma (who is closing in on her 102nd birthday in March), my brother and his wife.
Angels in the Outfield movie My husband fulfilled his Thanksgiving responsibilities by napping and watching at least two football games. It’s a tough job but somebody’s got to do it.
Two of my boys are playing chess, which ought to delight me, but irritates me. Do not ask me why because I have no rational reason, other than the fact that their arguments about the rules never end. My other son is playing a computer game, frantically typing with his index fingers, listening to music and cracking his knuckles.
And thus another Thanksgiving comes to a somewhat quiet end. We ended up not having company but my husband–oh, he did have a job today–vacuumed anyway.
I am thankful for my electric appliances: oven, fridge, washing machine, dishwasher, dryer.
I am thankful for my children, even on days when they won’t stop bickering and on days when they insist they know more than me.
I am thankful for my husband, aka the Calmest Man Alive.
I am thankful for my family, those who’ve known me the longest.
I am thankful for my friends, both those in real life and those on the Internet.
I am thankful, even on days when I complain as if I am determined to win a Complaining Contest.