This Thanksgiving, we’re keeping it simple. One small turkey (the smallest we could find). Three sides, and a single pie. For our family of three, it’s really all we need- and then some.
I grew up quite differently – with three siblings, my parents, and occasionally a relative or two, we had quite a few mouths to fill. My sisters, mom, and I would spend all day cooking in the kitchen together. A large breakfast would be made first, then ‘appetizers’, then Thanksgiving dinner no later then 3pm. Next to the turkey, it was common to have dishes upon dishes overflowing with all the food you could possibly hope for. Thanksgiving was truly a large affair.
For our own family, things are different. We don’t have those piles of dishes- mostly because we’re half the people and are staying home this year- just the three of us. It’s easy to want to replicate past years and do things the way you’ve always done, with the same tradition and heart behind it. But as time moves on, so does life. Circumstances change. Even in our own marriage there are still kinks we’re working out in the holiday traditions department, still ways we’re compromising and experimenting and trying something new. This year, it’s that means we’re taking Thanksgiving alone.
As much as I didn’t really want to do Thanksgiving by ourselves, I’m growing to love it. Yesterday, Joy and I went shopping together to pick up what we needed for the feast, braving the crowds. With only a box of raisins and her baby doll to help keep her calm, we spent a hour circling the store and finding weird ingredients that you only buy for the holidays. That evening, we baked our first pie together.
This is what the holidays are about. These moments – fleeting, normal, traditional and brand-new moments- are what being a parent is made of. This is the moment I want to remember.
I don’t want to remember how holidays fail to live up to our expectation, or how they get less magical as years go on, or how they get more complicated. No, I just want to remember these simple, breathtaking moments that make them worth celebrating in the first place.
Joy and I, together.
We possibly took a few finger-fulls of pumpkin filling and we definitely got it on the floor. Also, I added more milk then necessary so the pie is a bit mushy. But does it matter? Does it really matter in the end that her shirt smells like pumpkin and it’s currently decorating our kitchen floor?
Just like this – this messy pumpkin memory – I want more like this in my every day.