Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

“Why Me” (A Thanksgiving Reminder)”

“Sometimes I lie awake at night and I ask, “Why me?”, then a voice answers “Nothing personal, your name just happened to come up.”
Charlie Brown

We all get overwhelmed. We go to places that make us wonder what we’ve done to bring such challenges to our lives and question how in the world we’re supposed to cope when so many things are going wrong. The voice that tells you “Nothing personal…” is only slightly satisfying. I really believe you, and me, and everyone else; we need to look at the things in our lives that ARE working and that are, in fact, going better than we could ever have hoped for. When those things come to mind, we need to be just as diligent and ask:

“Why Me?”

When we are facing a challenge and friends rush to our sides to assist us:

“Why Me?”

When we suffer a serious accident, and somehow survive:

“Why Me?”

When we have a child who is struggling with school, and we have teachers who join with us to assist in moving them to success:

“Why Me?”

If we focus solely on the things that are challenges, we just don’t realize how each day brings positives we will miss when our head is down and shaking in dismay. We miss our opportunities to be thankful for today. I am not a Pollyanna, I have suffered many hardships in my life. As I’ve grown through them I’ve come to realize they were a gift that brought focus to the good times in my life. They provided clarity to my thoughts about “the routine” and sharp edges to what is really hard and what is just nonsense. They’ve helped me put into perspective how fleeting time really is.

Now when my sons, rush off the bus, jackets flying and backpacks bumping up and down; when they rush up the driveway in a full out race, laughing and fussing about cheating and head starts; all the time with their eyes smiling. I’ve come to understand that I am witness to the morning of their lives. That’s when I ask:

“Why Me?”

and that’s when I say thank you for all the moments that have shaped me and brought me to this place.

At Thanksgiving especially – look around at your place in this world and ask

“Why Me?”

It’s sometimes overwhelming when we realize just how lucky we are.

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours.

I was the Turkey

I fancy myself somewhat of a cook.  Of course that skill has evolved over the years and my husband is quick to tell the tale of my first apple pie.  The resulting coat of flour on the floor and cabinets made the idea of “homemade from frozen” much more appealing.  Thanks to the Food Network and my need to overachieve, I have honed my skills since staying home. 

When I had my fourth son on November 14 a few years back, I wanted to celebrate by doing something different and outstanding for Thanksgiving.  My goal to serve a deboned, stuffed turkey for my family of six and visiting in-laws quickly became an “I can do this” obsession.

The week before I practiced deboning just about everything I could find (we didn’t have the doggies yet).  When the time came to debone the Thanksgiving bird, I spent the better part of an hour working to extract every piece of cartilage and bone that might have taken away from the “oohs and ahhhs” I expected to hear as I came out to the Thanksgiving dinner table.

Sure enough, when it came time to serve dinner, everything was wonderful.  The turkey was beautiful on its platter, albeit smaller given the absence of bones.   The turkey’s breasts were perfectly browned, the legs actually edible by adults since they were stuffed individually and sliced, and everyone gave me the praise I’d needed for my ego. 
Everyone except two little boys pulled up to the holiday table.  Jacob and Sammy sat with just their little heads bobbing above the table, with their crystal water glasses, linen napkins and fine china; looking very, very, sad.

“What’s wrong?” asked their Bubbie (Yiddish for Grandma).

“Where’s the big one?” asked Jacob, at tear welling up in his eye.

“What big one?” I said between moments of patting myself on the back.

“The big turkey” both Jake and Sam said without hesitation. 

“You know mom-the big turkey like they always show on the TV commercials; like the pictures from last year and like on the Charlie Brown special.  Where’s the BIG TURKEY?”

It was that moment that I knew I’d blown it.  I’d turned the holiday into something I’d wanted focused on me instead of allowing the tradition of the day to carry the family through.

That was the last Thanksgiving I served anything other than the BIG turkey. As we speak my big turkey is defrosting in the sink ready to be brined and rubbed for cooking.  The family picked out the type pies we’re going to fix, the veggies they’ll be chopping and how they want the potatoes fixed.  It won’t be like Emeril’s dining room but I’m smart enough to not make the same mistake twice.

However you make your turkey this year, I hope it is served with platters of love and hope, charity and goodwill, and sprinkled with generous portions of health and happiness. As we enter the holiday season may you and your family always be on the winning side of the wishbone.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Parenting Tip of the Day:

Some churches open their doors and provide holiday breakfasts for the homeless.  My husband and I are taking the boys down to cook pancakes in the morning at a local church and then coming home for dinner.  I’m hoping it will really help us understand everything we have to be thankful for.  I’ve read that tons of young people believe that volunteering is important, but fewer than ever do so.  If you can, take the time to show our kids how much they can impact our world.  Even a January neighborhood food drive and trip to the local food bank is a tremendous learning experience (and great winter break project).  Show them what a difference they can make.