With all the deaths my family experienced 3 years ago, family holidays have changed and some of those changes are really noticeable. Today is Thanksgiving Day. In my family, Thanksgiving was the first, most important holiday of the year and my Mom’s favorite. I am thankful that with all the changes, it still feels like Thanksgiving has always felt. MK and her baby are here and MK has been as much of this holiday, as when she was little and eagerly waited for Thanksgiving to come. We are staying at my sister’s, instead of my mother’s. The kids think “cousin” is the best word in our language. Most of our kids contend with various disabilities, but all of them make allowances for each other’s quirks with out consciously thinking about it. They have cheerfully drawn Hope into the crowd, waiting for the tantrums to pass, and then pulling her back into the fun. Nobody cares that GB is now autistic, as we have had two autistic kids already. Some of the kids are busy making steamed dumplings, the older set is outside playing Ultimate. GB is happily coloring a page with cats, Hope is one of the dumpling makers. The Black Friday circulars are organized, pen waiting, to help plan tomorrow. The kitchen smells great; different then it did when my parents were alive, but still... like Thanksgiving.
Shortly the turkey will hit he oven and the board games will come out. Computers will be off. Phones will go unanswered. After dinner, we will go for a walk, weather permitting, followed by dessert and more games. The flow and ebb of family goes on around tantrums, meltdowns, and sick children, sweeping everybody with it. In its essence, Thanksgiving Day hasn’t changed since I was a girl.