Thanksgiving is a time of food and family, but it's also a time of reflecting on all that we have and how we can share that with others. My family has been whittled away from four boys down to one and a half. Not a real half, just my sweet eleven-year-old and his twenty-something brother who elected not to travel away to college like two of his other brothers. This homebound spirit recently got into West Georgia University which was a sigh of relief after the last year of "finding himself" so that means as of the New Year I will have three boys in college. It seems like only yesterday those first born boogers were a crowd of middle-schoolers trooping down the street with baseball bats to teach a lesson to the neighborhood bully for shooting one of them with a pellet gun. Luckily, I intercepted them on that day. Ah, good times. Those memories make me appreciate our friends and neighbors here in Georgia so very much.
I'm not going to lie, raising four boys was hard. We struggled with all of their many different gifts and challenges, from being exceptionally gifted to having learning disabilities, and there was ADHD and an Asperger's, not to mention a heart condition that always lurked in the back of my mind. We moved a lot. There was family drama with in-laws and parent-teacher battles. Even struggles to find a church family where we fit in.
Fast forward many years, and suddenly forty plus two is a funny age that I've embraced whole heartedly. I've learned to appreciate the shortcomings and challenges we have as individuals and as family, too. We have been blessed beyond anything we imagined. This month was a wonderful time for me to look back and appreciate how far we've come as a family, and how far I've come as a mother, wife, friend and even a writer.
Now that the turkey is gone, the excitement of Christmas looms around the corner, and that's a good thing. There's no need to be melancholy that our turkey day is behind us. And the sweet potatoes. And the cheesecake… There will be another Thanksgiving. There will be more adventures with drama and hurt, but lots of laughs, too.
If there's one thing I can take away from this month, it's to keep gratitude in my heart every day of the week, no matter what the season. No matter the bullies or the baseball bats we need to carry to teach some lessons and make some memories!