I started to get excited about Thanksgiving several months ago. It was my husband's family's turn and we would be out on their family ranch. With all my mom's stuff with cancer this past year I haven't gotten to see his family that much and so my thoughts turned towards fun experiences had with them.
Then I taught Sunday school. And got the stomach flu. Luckily it was one of those quick things so I was hopeful that we could still make it. Then it seemed the children were coming down with fevers the night before Thanksgiving. We had already been researching on the particular virus I had and about being contagious and discussing what if we needed to cancel? My husband, wisely, decided that for the sake of his elderly grandparents it would be best not to go and risk it. I knew in my heart this was the best thing. Still. It wasn't how I thought Thanksgiving would go this year.
As I drove home from work on Wednesday I smirked at the full parking lot of HEB and thought: I'm so glad I don't have to go there! And it's true. I don't. We could just eat the non-Thanksgiving food we have. But in truth, the crackers and 7-ups of sickness are getting mighty old and now that the bug has run it's course (we hope) we need to re-saturate the whole house with Lysol. So off I go. To make a last-minute-thrown-together Thanksgiving dinner of tofurkey and potatoes.
Tonight I scour facebook for the little dramas that I have been following. I see black and white words of thanks jumping up everywhere. And color photos of happy, healthy babies that are thanks as well. One who was sick because somewhere in this crazy world is a pharmacist that simply needs to be shot. There she is though, all tired smile and alive! Another baby who finally came! And mom is healthy too! I see way too many posts of fried turkeys but remind myself that this is because I live in Texas. Before living in this grand state I'm fairly certain I didn't know it was possible to deep fry a turkey. But apparently you can. And twinkies. Oreos even. Oh my.
I come home to a little boy that melts my heart the way he hollers out "mama" and runs to give my calves a firm embrace. To a little girl who tells her little brother: "careful now, watch your fingers!" as he plays with an old toy and she helps him open a piece he can't quite get. And to a man who babied me this past week as I was sick.
So as I write out my grocery list, reading a recipe of fried tofu for giggles, and listening to the sounds of my family as bedtime approaches. The two-year-old jabbering out for freedom with an occasional thump on who knows what. The four-year-old who has discovered that blood is under your skin and if you scratch yourself it makes a neat new color. The husband who sounds for all the world like he is getting sick. I am thankful for all of this. And hopeful that we'll all be well soon. Happily munching on fried tofu. OK, you can substitute turkey in that sentence if it makes you feel more Texan.