This year we can’t afford to cook and I’ve been sick too much anyway and need the time to catch up as much as possible, so the big kids are going to other relatives and I am going to be hanging with the baby, hopefully writing like a maniac (a very, very eloquent maniac), which is a little weird and frightening since I have made Thanksgiving dinner every year as long as I can remember and certainly since leaving the big kids’ dad. That year, we had turkey in our pajamas and watched Les Miserables on the couch. It was a hit and movies in pjs became the way we spent every Thanksgiving. I have never felt comfortable celebrating a holiday that commemorated a lie told to hide genocide with gluttony and my kids can tell you many ways that the day and its “traditions” are wrong, but giving it up has been harder than I would have expected.
This year, my husband will be working 12 hour overnight shifts before and after the day and there will only be three of our usual five and really, we can’t afford the gluttony, so I have no plan, which is such a rarity in my life.
There are so many things I might do:
I could take the baby to the park,
blow off homework (unlikely but still possible) to work on editing the poetry that has been accumulating in my top drawer,
read poetry and be thankful for Li-Young Lee and Mary Oliver, Anna Akhmatova and audre lorde,
write thank you letters to forget to send, like the other thank you letters I have forgotten to send
paint pictures with the baby,
watch squirrels outside my bedroom window.
I am thankful for so many possibilities, for my second/third/fourth/endless attempts at finishing a degree, for the quiet before everyone wakes up and the noise after, the chance every morning to try harder to live by my principles, and people who encourage me when I do and don’t judge me too harshly when I don’t. I am thankful for the food we do have and my husband’s willingness to go to a crappy job to make sure we keep having it. I am thankful for the kids I miss when they are gone and thankful that they will have more than I can give them in a house full of people who love them.
I am thankful for you.