During the past week over at DadCentric, I’ve been writing about the bizarre history of past Thanksgivings. I’ve also posted about how, for me, Turducken symbolizes all that is great about America.
But as I sit here tonight in Dallas, stuffed out of my gourd and staring ay my MIL’s collection of refrigerator magnet business cards, I'm thinking about what Thanksgiving really means to me. In a year that has witnessed a country at war, the loss of countless American lives and several natural disasters of epic proportions, I think that this Thanksgiving stands out as a time when we should all truly think about the things for which to be thankful. Whether large or small, there are many things in life that we all both respect and appreciate. Here’s my 2005 short list…
A happy & healthy family. The Peanut was only 7 weeks old last Thanksgiving. Now, she’s a beautiful and healthy 13-month-old girl who loves nothing more than to scamper around all over the place at full speed. Not only am I thrilled to see her running and climbing, I’m thankful that everyone in her family is well enough to run and climb alongside her. May we all continue to keep up with her as the years go by.
A dysfunctional family. Sure, they’re all healthy but man, nobody drives me nuts like my family. But, at the end of the day, you’re stuck with them. And likewise, they’re stuck with you. So…this Thanksgiving? As we all sit around with our crazy uncles, our psychotic aunts and our senile grandparents? Remember...you are not alone! And as the years go by? Who knows? YOU might be that crazy uncle or psychotic aunt!
My friends. Coming from an incredibly small yet remarkably dysfunctional family, I’ve always had extremely close friendships and I’ve always subscribed to the philosophy that friends are the family that you get to choose. I have great friends. They’re smart, funny, interesting and caring. And for the most part, I’ve known many of them forever. I realize how rare that is and I’m thankful to have all of them be a part of my past, present and future.
My wife. Before I met the BossLady, I was becoming somewhat comfortable with the idea that I might be alone for the rest of my life. It wasn’t that I hadn’t met any beautiful or interesting women. It was just that I hadn’t found one with whom I wanted to spend the rest of my life. I was living a fairly independent life and I was cherishing all the freedom. Besides, I can be a moody, goofy, strange and eclectic motherfucker. Maybe I was better off alone. But then, the BossLady came into my life and turned it upside down. Meeting my soul mate and learning what it means to commit our lives to one another is something for which I’ll always be thankful. Sharing parenthood with her makes it even more special.
NOT TO BE DISMISSED LIGHTLY…
Role models (v. 2005). Kudos and respect to Pat Tillman, Chuck Hagel, Sandra Day O’Connor, Lance Armstrong and George Galloway. One day, I’ll tell my daughter stories about all of you. I’ll explain to her that no human is perfect and how, as individuals, you all had your faults. But I’ll also explain to her how all of you stayed true to your beliefs, always spoke your mind, never took shit from anyone and, if necessary, took your licks to remain faithful to your own ideals and principles. I’ll tell her your stories and explain how, in Daddy’s opinion, right ultimately prevails over might.
Hope, faith and charity. First, there was the Asian tsunami. Then, there was Katrina. And right after that? The earthquake in Pakistan. After each and every natural disaster, Americans consistently reached into their hearts, their pockets and their souls to assist those who desperately needed our help. As a nation, we may have a ways to go before we are able to adequately tackle society's problems, both at home and abroad. However, as individuals, we proved once again that there are few people as selfless and generous as us.
Only 25 months until we have a new president. Liberal or conservative, it’s hard to imagine how anyone can be supremely enthusiastic about our current president. I’m not talking about partisan politics or party loyalty. I’m talking about a general dearth of leaders in this country. Where are the leaders who will inspire us as a nation? Who will motivate us to greater heights? Because while I would never disrespect the office of the presidency, I eagerly look forward to the next election and hope that we can achieve some sort of paradigm shift in our selection. From top to bottom, we deserve far better from those who seek to represent us.
My fellow passengers on Flt. #1137. I am so sorry that my daughter’s overtiredness caused her to be so cranky during the entire flight from NY. I apologize profusely. I cannot believe how incredibly patient and understanding all of you were. While your advice was greatly appreciated, I continue to be blown away by your kindness. Thanks for truly embracing the holiday spirit and being so amazingly cool.
MINOR BLESSINGS. Roasted chestnuts. The return of Fiona Apple. TiVo. Good books read by the fireplace. Homemade pumpkin pie. Pitchers and catchers reporting for spring training in 3 months. Regular bowel movements. The decreasing popularity of Jessica Simpson and Britney Spears. Grandparents. And new babies.
So on this day of stuffing our faces and watching football with our weird relatives, may we all remember how lucky we truly are. May we all remember to help those around us in need. And may we all remember that health, love and friendship are never to be taken for granted.
From all of us to all of you…Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families!