Thursday, November 23, 2006


Oh, yeah: there was good food. There was good meat. And good God, we had a lot to eat. Thanks be for...

Two different stuffings; two choices of cranberry sauce, too. The turkey, the ham, the mashed potatoes and gravy. Green beans draped with caramelized onions, and candied yams, happily devoid of marshmallows. Deviled eggs, because they're always a good idea.

And then there was this year's surprise entry: thick triangles of polenta, smothered in cream and parmagiano-reggiano and kissed with garlic. I'll be fantasizing about this dish for at least another year.

The shame, number one: Ellie, who tirelessly and lovingly prepared all of this fine food, could barely taste a morsel because she was so congested.

The shame, number two: the minute that everyone had taken their seats, S began to shriek, "DaDO! DaDO!" Translation: "All done! ALL DONE! Release me from my booster seat at once or prepare to face my wrath!"

I described in detail the scrumptious feast that had been laid before him. He turned up his nose. I turned a deaf ear to his pleas. He shrieked louder. I began to shriek back, then recognized that it was to no one's benefit. So with a defeated sigh, I asked Trey to turn him loose, at which point he scrambled up into his father's lap and began happily squishing mashed potatoes between his fingers.

Let it be known that K is no fool: when she saw what an easy escape her brother had forged, she quickly pulled the same lever and received the same reward.

Meanwhile C, to my horror, kicked his feet up onto the tablecloth and proudly showed me every single mouthful of food he had chewed and not yet swallowed.

Trey's sister Lainie, who just KNOWS, thank God, shot me an encouraging smile and a hang-in-there wink when she overheard me mumbling, "I AM thankful for my children. I AM thankful for my children... "

Because needless to say, I am: no matter what they do or say or eat or how they behave. I'm thankful beyond words to be their mother. I'm overcome with gratitude for their father, my husband, who makes my heart skip a beat even as I feel like pulling out my own hair.

I'm thankful for the family he brought with him when we met, who loved me well before I deserved their love. I'm thankful for my brother-in-law and two gorgeous nieces who made complete the circle around our dinner table tonight.

I'm thankful for the family that birthed and shaped me; those who gathered today in San Antonio, Georgia and Alabama, and those who float freely through our memories.

Tomorrow, if all goes well and I actually heed the alarm clock, Trey and I will sneak out of the house before anyone else awakens, and we'll drive that familiar road to Austin. Bearing tickets to the rivalry we've never actually witnessed, we'll make our way to the football stadium for the last home game of the season.

We'll hope for a Longhorn victory. We'll hope to grab a copy of this year's KGSR compilation at our favorite record store on our way out of town. We'll hope that the muppers have given their grandparents an easy afternoon in exchange for their generosity.

But whatever happens, we'll continue to give thanks on this Thanksgiving weekend.


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