Okay, Thanksgiving was last week, but it's not too late for a few reflections, as well as some thoughts that have been rolling around in my head for a while now. Especially because this week Tiny Face is conducting a sleep-deprivation experiment with me as her principal subject. Greetings from 3am!
We had Thanksgiving at our place this year, which was really nice for TF's first real holiday. Dashing Daddy's family came over and it was the whole feast/football deal. Here are some pics:
I did placemats with various literary quotations on the theme of thankfulness/gratitude, because TF loves to yank on table cloths, so they were out! Cloth napkins of course, tied with raffia. Turkey, homemade gravy that wouldn't thicken so I added more and more flour and then it thickened half an hour later wayyyy too much, sweet potatoes with cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, nice steamed green beans, corn, and peas, mashed red potatoes, apricot-cranberry sauce, cornbread apple stuffing, homemade pumpkin pie (even homemade crust my mom taught me to make, and homemade whipped cream), and that chocolate cake with a turkey design.... yep, it was a feast! And most importantly, we had a great time all hanging out together. When I think back to holidays as a kid, that's what I like best, and what I treasure now even-- how we can all just hang out together, maybe getting a bit silly, maybe just sitting around watching a movie and grabbing leftovers from the fridge, just being relaxed and together. Family.
So obviously I was thinking through cooking up cornbread and printing up placemats how grateful I am for my life. And this is something I've tried to do for a long time; simply, count my blessings. Whenever I felt persnickety about having to lug a load of textbooks from the library to my classroom, I'd try to focus on what a beautiful day it was on our peaceful campus, and now when I'm serving as a sleep deprivation test subject, I try to remember how fortunate I am to have my healthy baby, and to live in a place of relative peace and safety and privilege. And even the fact that my baby can't go 40 minutes without waking/needing to be nursed/patted and can't sleep without me by her side, won't even go down by herself for a couple hours at the start of the night, which is all our normal (not like the wiggle-every-twenty-minutes hijinks of this week), and she always needed to be moving even from one month old, and won't let me simply nurse her down on the bed but must be walked (not rocked! nothing so comfy) and nursed and walked and nursed, and can't handle noisy crowds indoors like say a mom's group where I can socialize.... whew! And dude, even my fellow AP moms talk about how they can do all that stuff with their babies, so it's the baby, not the parenting.... But then I realize that I have a rare husband who truly sees our life as a partnership, including raising our daughter, cooking, laundry, cleaning, and taking care of each other. Truly a gem. So we all get a break somewhere.
When the wildfires were heading towards our house and the news was saying the big one would very likely tear through our neighborhood overnight, I found myself realizing that I was totally okay if my house burned down. We had gotten prepared that morning and had all essential documents and memorabilia (mostly) and it was okay if all our stuff was gone. We had our family safe. It was rather freeing to realized I really was okay with the idea of shedding the majority of our material stuff. Not to diminish the loss of the fire victims, but the idea of purging away all the accumulated dross was appealing. I think reducing our load of stuff is a goal to pursue now. And I'm thankful that the real good things in my life aren't stuff but my family and friends.