Sunday, November 18, 2012


Here's a little secret about me: I always want to ask everyone at our table what they are thankful for, but I never do.

After three days of cooking, I am always exhausted by the time the Thanksgiving dinner is on the table. Throw in the emotions that come with gratitude and I can pretty well guarantee that it would come out like this:

*Deep breath*

*Quivery smile*

*Tears forming in my eyes, but coming out my nose (WHY?!)*

"So, um, I was hoping we could all *gasp for air* say something we're, um, *wiping tears off my upper lip* you know *deep breath*"

And then, without finishing my sentence I'd break into the ugly cry.

Oh, and? I have a feeling my mom would offer up something that is maybe meant to be a good thing, but is at best a backhanded compliment.

This Thanksgiving we'll be spending time with my in-laws. I won't be cooking that day (we'll host our own in a couple weeks). I don't know if they will go around the table talking about what makes us thankful or not. If they do, you can trust that Madelyn will respond in dog language, which will bring out Fynnie's inner kitty. I will probably say something genius, like, "I'm happy for time together with the family."

Let's be honest, it's been rough lately. On top of everything with Corey, which should be enough, I have a list of other things that I recently described as "just too fucking much."

But still, there is good.

I am thankful.

For a husband who works ridiculously hard, but who still laughed uncontrollably as I read him this at 1:30 in the morning: The Hater's Guide To The Williams-Sonoma Catalog

For Madelyn, who grows more beautiful and smart and, yes, challenging every day. All the same, she is the one I feel I know best. The one who is most like me and yet nothing like me at all. When Mad is being her best Big Sister, she is enchanting. I look forward to watching her go through this life.

For Fynnie, the one I understand the least, who doesn't always think I'm funny, but who wants always to be close, to "shwuggle in yo bey-ed." It's nice to always be wanted, no matter what. As we (hopefully) wrap up this weekend's bout with the flu, I am also grateful that she is still nursing. I can't believe that 28 months later she can survive on what I have to offer.

For Corey and all the calls and texts I've received since he moved away. I'm thankful he put me in the very short list of numbers he can contact without getting charged.

For my mom, who didn't get what I went through with Corey, but now does because she took him in for 22 months. That she didn't actually kick him out, but let him make the choice to get a job or not, and that she stuck with the decision. No matter how things go with him, I know she did the best she could. And that it was a lot more than most people would have done.

For the people who have taken my son in, both here in California and there in North Carolina. I can imagine what life would be like without them, but I'm glad I don't have to right now.

For my real life friends. The decades-long friends and the ones made over my young children. These people are soul soothing.

For my local mommy group. Okay, no, most of them are not "my people" (which is turning into a running gag), but it doesn't take all 500 women in the group to make me feel sane. There are a good dozen or so who I truly like. I feel like they get me. If MNO could happen every week with these women, I'd want to be there.

For my blogging buddies. With all the love and support I've received, it's a wonder I am not blogging all the time. Plus, it's people like Molly over at Crazed in the Kitchen, who turn me onto things like that Williams-Sonoma post (parts of which were very hard to read out loud without hyperventilating). And Cara at Twinthusiasm, who reminded me that it's good to say why we're thankful, even if it doesn't happen 'round the table.

For my birth board buddies, both on the board and in the spin-off groups on Facebook. Having a place to go where everyone understands the entertainment value of kids in pajamas with Christmas lights and duct tape? Hilarious!

Last, but not least, I am thankful that one (not so) little Miss Olivia has made her way into this world safely. I'll probably never meet her or her family, but they have been ingrained in my heart since the birth and death of her older brother, Mini Cooper. Olivia's mama worked incredibly hard to be able to meet her third child face to face. To have her be full-term and healthy is almost more than the heart can bear.

What are you thankful for?

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