Growing up, Thanksgiving was filled with constants. My parents hosted. The menu changed very little. The guest list was very consistent. There was always a kids table and a sparkling apple cider toast. Now with family spread across the world and a family of my own, things have changed. Slowly our little family is forming a Thanksgiving routine, and this is my favorite part.
It’s not the turkey or the mashed potatoes. It’s the park. It’s the little park, walkable from Craig’s mom’s house that has become just as important to Thanksgiving as the bird. It’s a place that is familiar, yet always changing. Just like Kayla and Blake.
Over the years I’ve watched Kayla go from sliding down the slide on my lap to mastering the entire playground on her own. Last year, Blake was just learning to climb the steps with help and this year he’s running up them while screaming with joy. Amazing how much a year changes things. And also how they stay the same.
Seeing the three people who ARE my life coming down this slide together was one of the small, unexpected highs you experience as a mother. Those highs sure do put the lows in perspective. Even though we don’t talk about it much, Thanksgiving is always bittersweet. It was Craig’s dad’s favorite holiday and as we form our traditions and figure out a new normal I can’t help but feel sad that he isn’t here to watch it unfold and be a part of it.
To see his son who if we’re being honest was a bit clueless and deer-in-headlights-like the first time around as a dad evolve into an unbelievably great father. I don’t tell him enough how good a father he is. He is AMAZING.
To see this little guy he never did get to meet learn new things every day. It’s funny how big the little things like mastering a zipper feel. It’s amazing how your heart can ache to share these everyday moments.
Our family didn’t go around the table saying what we’re thankful for. Honestly, that’s a tradition I’ve never loved so I wasn’t sad to miss it. I’m not great at articulating my feelings at a table full of people even if they are close to me. But the weekend did bring plenty of perspective so now I’m ready.
I am thankful for time, this time we’ve been given. Time to watch these kids grow and start to become their own little people. We can plan and we can dream and we can feel sorry for ourselves and we can move ahead. We can control so many things but time is one of those tricky beasts that remains unknown. Surely there is a New Year’s resolution buried in this train of thought related to appreciating and making the most of time. But I’m going to try to focus on now and save that for another day. Goals.