It is Thanksgiving week. Just last month, I wrote about celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving. This month, America celebrates its own Thanksgiving Day. Celebrated on the 4th Thursday of every November, this year, the date falls on the 24th.
While modern day celebrations of Thanksgiving are mostly about being with family, sharing a festive meal till your buttons pop off while reeling under the drugged influence of tryptophan, the history behind the celebration is not quite as delicious sounding. Despite the controversies though, I have always appreciated this celebration for its spirit of feeling thankful and grateful for what we have.
Many years ago, when I lived in the American South, I was invited to the home of a woman who was the administrative assistant to the Chair of the department where I held a graduate assistant position. I may be wrong but I believe it was at her home that I observed her family’s tradition of expressing gratitude at the Thanksgiving dinner table. Every person at the food table expressed their gratitude and it was only after we had gone around the table, that we dug into the absolutely delicious food that had been tickling and teasing our olfactory senses the whole time as we politely sipped our wines or other drinks listening to everyone around the table.
In the spirit of that memory, this is a gratitude post for Thanksgiving. This year (2016, so far), I am most grateful/thankful for:
→ This day and always, my family; my own, natal, and through marriage, for reasons obvious and not.
→ A healthy pregnancy, an easy labor and delivery, and a perfect little baby girl.
→ A happy and healthy toddler who despite initial concerns of speech development, picked up tremendous language skills and is quite the eloquent talker now. He amazes me everyday with his sharp grasping skills and perfectly contextual use of the right words, phrases, and expressions.
→ A baby girl who may not be sleeping through the night yet but who sleeps enough that I feel reasonably rested. It is not perfect but I will take it and feel grateful for her ability to sleep at least a few hours at a stretch.
→ Being able to breastfeed my little girl, something that was a huge challenge the first time.
→ A comparatively quick postpartum recovery mostly because I had no choice but to get over myself- I did not have the pampering of my mother this time and I had to manage a toddler and a newborn.
→ For being able to afford to hire help for a month during my early postpartum days.
→ The health, energy, and cooperation of my husband in raising our two kids.
→ For old friends and new virtual ones for their support, kindness, and encouragement.
There are a few other things that I am grateful for but the one thing I am most grateful for is:
→ Being able to spend some time with Mamama (maternal grandmother) who passed away less than two weeks after I last saw her. She lived her life like she did her death, with quiet dignity and grace.