It’s the end of a long couple of days and as I sit at the kitchen table in my parents home in south Missouri, pies in the oven, football resonating in the background, I have to ask myself, what am I thankful for?
This year was a bit different, for my brother and sister, and their families were unable to come down. There is an idleness here, less excitement, and I miss their presence. I miss dragging my sister into the dining room after the big meal to play a game, because it’s common knowledge around here that she is entirely too cool for games. Well, ok, she’s not a “game kinda person,” never has been. Maybe it comes from those stressful family game nights we were forced to play at knifepoint, I can picture my Dad like it was yesterday, “YOU girls are gonna get in here, RIGHT NOW, you’re gonna play Life, and you’re GONNA enjoy it!!” And when Dad puts his foot down, you were just glad not to be under it. He was always a very understanding and caring father, but when he said, “Game night!” you said, “Who wants nuts?” And I have absolutely no idea why our entire family referred to my sister and I as, “The attitude sisters,” the attitude had nothing to do with the games…
And my little brother, not the baby but the one who used to manipulate his older sisters in order to get away with stuff when we babysat him. You know the kind, “Ahhh, if you don’t let me I’m gonna tell mom and dad you took Dad’s company car to get cigarettes AND had a pool party with beer the other night.” My sweet little bro…on second thought, maybe I don’t miss him so much. Ok, I do, and even though he was onery, he sure is fun. I love reciting ‘Dumb and Dumber’ with him, and no matter how old I get I always feel young around him. Currently, he’s in the Kansas City area playing COD Modern Warefare 2, drinking energy drinks, and working a little in between.
They both have amazing families and Thanksgiving isn’t quite complete without the whole gang. My youngest brother is here though, and he’s a real ball of energy. Used to be, I’d say Monopoly and next thing you know he’d be set up, money at each place , top hat on, ready to go in seconds. Today I asked him to play and he just raised his eyebrows, pulled his baseball cap over his eyes and went to sleep. He is 22 and I am exactly 14 years older than him. I tend to feel like an old hag when he’s around, try as I might, I just can’t get him to admit my coolness. I feel a “family game night” would restore him to usual excitement over the fake money and little houses. I never told him that if you won Monopoly that didn’t necessarily mean you were going to “make it” in life. After about the 5th hour of playing we all just kind of forfeited to him anyway, succumbing to another piece of pie and the couch.
But I guess tonight I am thinking about family. I am thankful for a lot of things, thankful I am not on a diet (though I probably should be), thankful we’re debt free, thankful for our health, but more than anything I am thankful for a wonderful family. I love my people, they put up with me, they love me when I act a fool, and I love them when they act like idiotic morons. We accept each other with all of our idiosyncrasies, our belching, flatulence, and loud-mouthing etc. I am glad for a group of people that I know have my back when times get tough, and that will celebrate with me in life’s blessings.
Currently they are in the living room being very loud discussing what Thanksgiving will be like in 25 years. My brother is talking about skyping and traveling via high-speed trains, he and my dad are debating the mechanics of how it would work, pods vs. this, vs. that…I better go get in on this conversation.
Happy Thanksgiving and Godspeed