Friday, November 26, 2010

A Day Without a Holiday

I'm thankful, really, I am. But also a little cranky, morose and sober. And jealous, always jealous which I am perfectly comfortable admitting. Thanksgiving just wasn't Thanksgiving this year, not at our house.

Although it was at my cousin's, where the bird I brined Tuesday night was roasted, the stuffing baked, the potatoes mashed. And all the people I love, save the three who live with me, gathered to celebrate and be thankful for being together. We were at home with a very sick child.

Wednesday night, as I pureed the pumpkin, cut the bread for stuffing and snapped the beans Kate announced she was not feeling well. And that was it, I knew, Thanksgiving would not be at our house this year and my precious child, who loves the idea of a home full of people she loves, would be spending her day under a blanket on the sofa. Given my paranoid fear of childhood illness and my incessant need to clean my children, I have often wondered just what I would do if one of the ladies was attacked by ilk the day before a holiday or party or other large gathering at our home. And now I know, unfortunately.

Thursday morning my cousin's husband drove in from the suburbs to pick up one 24 pound freshly brined turkey, two bags of groceries and one large casserole of stuffing. He took one look at Kate and knew that moving the celebration to their house was the right decision.

Once we had our refrigerator back it was easy to forget that elsewhere people were basking in the warm glow of family and friends, and waddling in the smell of roasting turkey. We watched the parade, napped, cleaned and ate nothing.

And when it was quiet, once the girls had gone to bed, I found the time to realize that this wasn't just another sick day at home, this was Thanksgiving. This was the day that keeps me on my feet for hours, makes our home smell like home and allows me to embrace the loved ones that gather annually around our dining room table.

Thankfully we have the opportunity to miss. That there are friends to toast, feet to hold me up and children to keep me busy; for the husband who is far better at taking care of a sick child than I ever will be, and for the child who is almost back, for all of this I am very grateful. Today I understand that it could always be worse, one rotten day will not ruin the holiday season. There is always next year, just 364 days away, thankfully.

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