Mon 30 Nov 2009
I don’t know anybody who doesn’t love Thanksgiving.
Oh sure, everybody admits it’s a lot of work, and often it’s a strain getting a bunch of people who are all related to each other to be under the same roof without, you know, things being said. But all in all, pound for pound, you will hardly find a nicer holiday than Thanksgiving. Never mind that they’re trying now to attach an adjunct holiday to it, by calling the day after Black Friday. We see through that completely…and we are NOT going along with it. Charlie, who is 6, put it best. He said, “I don’t really celebrate Black Friday.”
And I think that is the wise way to approach a day that asks you to get up in the middle of the night and go shopping, of all things.
Anyway, so Thanksgiving came and went. We had ten people here, in a house designed for maaaybe five, which can often be just the thing that magnifies even the slightest difference. (“What?! You like steamed broccoli? Were you raised by wolves or something? Don’t you know the only way to eat broccoli is to saute it?”)
Despite all this, we had a wonderful time. This year we had two vegetarians, a gluten-allergic person, two 2-year-olds, a pregnant person, a few people with asthma, a 6-year-old, some people who think the minimum acceptable indoor temperature has to be in the very high two digits, others who suffer from hot flashes (mostly me), and plenty of food to keep us all groggy and busy. As usual, we had turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and green beans for the meat-eaters—and Indian food for the vegetarians. This has been the family story for years now, that we serve food for both the pilgrims and the Indians.
By Friday, naturally, everybody was ready for Chinese food. And on Saturday afternoon, there was a blow-out feast with a little bit of everything on each plate. I myself had turkey, saag paneer, dumplings, pork egg foo yung, and pumpkin pie. Others ate stuffing, lo mein, and tikka masala. The babies settled on raisins and whipped cream. (There’s a wonderful picture of one of the 2-year-olds face down in his chocolate cream pie. I think it’s a symbol of Day Three of the Thanksgiving holiday.)
It was loads of fun. Over the three days, we managed to replace a computer router, two cell phones, and a camera—as well as play Beatles Rock Band as often as possible, in each conceivable configuration. The two-year-olds made wonderful drummers, using my bamboo knitting needles as drumsticks. Josh, who is 2, loved stuffing our decorative baskets with random objects and distributing them all over the house. I expect to find the bag of onions any day now.
Basically hardly anyone slept. People were up all night, wandering through the house getting drinks of water, changing diapers, or taking to the living room couch where they hoped they might find silence.
And it was over far too soon. Right after Saturday lunch—a lunch interrupted by the whole family needing to get to its feet to do the celebratory Miles Pooped On the Potty dance, I could see that time was running out. Everybody started sauntering through the house, packing up their items that had managed to get scattered all over. Teddy bears, computers, cameras, cell phones, BlackBerries, pacifiers, Play Stations, leftovers, blankies, and luggage all were packed up into the station wagons.
As Miles, age 2 1/2, put it so succinctly, “Pack up my potty chair. I’m going home!”
It’s only Sunday night, and I’ve since called everybody at least twice. I’m afraid I can’t wait for Christmas.