We used to do this thing over Thanksgiving that made all the kids groan and me roll my eyes and it was totally something that we did to make their mother happy. We went around the table and told everyone what we’re thankful for. It sounds callous, but one of the things we were probably thankful for that first Thanksgiving alone was the fact that we didn’t have to do this any more.
The funny thing about that is we actually have things to say and reasons to be thankful . . . more than the atypical “I’m thankful for my toys and my family and my house and . . . ” that used to come out of our mouths before.
So why didn’t I re-instigate the tradition? Well…part of me realized I just didn’t need to. My kids, in particular, tell me all the time the things they are thankful to have.
When I make a particularly difficult dinner . . . or a simple dinner . . . the kids all say “thank you, Dad!” and it’s not just the automatic, kid in a classroom “good morning mister Manoucheri” kind of thing. They say it with actual feeling. (They could just be good actors, too, but tell me if that’s the case.) When they get a gift it is really a gift, they know that either we have saved up for that or that there was some money we had and I chose to use it on them. They don’t see that as a privilege they see it as a plus.
So what are we so thankful about? The world moves around its axis at roughly 1040 miles per hour. That is about the speed of life, too, I think. We could easily forget how we got where we are moving so fast, with technology, cars, work, school, everything around us. With all that swirling around we should be caught up in the maelstrom that is life, right?
Yet we enjoy things and manage to ride out the rotation.
Maybe you go pick up a Christmas tree with no reason behind it whatsover. Maybe it’s at a lot and maybe it’s a tradition . . . and we have a tradition going to the same place every year. But there are great things to see in that. The owner of the place walked up to us after I stopped and snapped these photos of them cutting down the tree all by themselves. “You have been here the last few years,” he told me. “When you get all your business in 60 days you remember the loyal customers!” They take care of us so we do the same. It costs a little more . . . but we got to play in the snow, have hot chocolate, cut the tree, they tie it all down, and it is an experience for all of us.
We had dinner with family, something we’ve done too little of this year, so we appreciated it all the more on Thanksgiving. My oldest was home from college and we got to have the evening with her, a now 21-year-old adult enjoying a beer with her old man. A little surreal, but the enormity of it not lost.
I am thankful for serendipity and meeting people and working and living and enjoying everything from movies at the theater to dinner to a night outside by a fire.
There are a million things to be thankful about. Sometimes you just have to realize they are there . . . and ignore the speed at which the world is zooming by.