It’s Canadian Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving, my fellow Canadian friends!
It’s the first time we had all the kids together on Thanksgiving Sunday. Normally, they are at their other parents and come back to us late in the day on Thanksgiving Monday, where I try to squeeze all Thanksgiving festivities in between the hours of 5pm and 8pm.
Not this year. We got to have them all day Saturday and Sunday, before Zach and Josh headed off to their Dad’s this (Monday) morning. Two full days. A very nice treat. (We actually had everyone Friday during the day too – but not in the evening. I had to work in the morning, but brought Gabe and Zach with me to my group, and then we were able to take the kids to laser tag, which they loved of course).
Saturday was spent running some errands. We had a Church Halloween party in the evening and the kids needed some things for their costumes, so we had to get that out of the way. Most of the kids have a lot of tests next week, so studying had to be done too. We did squeeze in a yummy lunch, but the overall day was pretty ho-hum. We went to the party, where they all enjoyed dressing up, activities and of course the food. We then headed home and caught up on the Amazing Race.
Sunday was a horrible, rainy day. But, we got up nice and early and popped the turkey into the oven before heading off to church. We arrived home from Church to that distinct turkey-is-almost-done smell, and prepped the rest of the meal. It was a late lunch, very early dinner.
As per tradition, we sat around the table to say what we are all grateful for. I sat back and listened. Really listened. I heard things like:
“Our ability to travel”
“Our new dog, Reggie”
“Our family identity”
“ The home that we have”
“The small things that we do – like just yesterday, being together”
“Traditions that we have”
Of course, hearing those things made me smile, because we are truly, truly blessed.
It was my turn to share. My heart was full. Because ALL of this was what I was grateful for. Sitting at a table talking about the blessings we have. All the little, tiny things. Having a table to sit around. Having every chair filled. Having laughter fill the air. Having the same traditions. Even all the little fights. Having each and every person at that table be a part of my life. My family. Is it possible?
We finished dinner and went to watch a movie together that the kids wanted to watch again, “The Bucket List”. We all gathered in our usual spots. Rob fell asleep. I begged for hair tickles, which Zandra gracefully gave me for a while, then cuddled with the boys on the floor. Reggie chewed away on his rubber chicken and drove us all crazy with the clucking noise the chicken made (but no one wanted to take the chicken away from him). We had popcorn. We oohed and ahhed over the places they visited in the movie that we want to go to, and I bawled my eyes out at the end.
Zach commented that I had not taken any pictures. “You have no pictures of Thanksgiving this year, Mom”. He had helped me prepare the turkey though, so he had taken a few pictures when we took it out of the oven (his first turkey)! I commented that he could forward me the pictures. “OK, but you didn’t get any real pictures” is what he replied.
And I didn’t. I have none. Not one picture of this Thanksgiving Day. Except those in my heart. You know those places that you sometimes see where you take a picture and say “The pictures don’t do it justice. You just can’t capture this all on a photo”?
How do you capture a family dinner – one of thousands that we have had and will have? Or how do you capture lying around our family room watching a movie we have all seen before? Can you document running errands, putting costumes on, bedtime routines, getting homework done, or going to church?
The pictures can’t ever really do it justice. It’s the feeling. The everyday feeling. The feeling of being home with these amazing spirits. The feeling of belonging. The feeling of this is where I am meant to be. The feeling of gratitude that this is my chosen family.
So many pictures were taken this Thanksgiving. My heart has captured them all.