Thankful Wishes

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Thanksgiving is a time to count your blessings,

one by one,

as each relative goes home.

Melanie White

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A friend texted a holiday letter I barely recall sending out when my ducklings were little. Thumbnail photos surrounded the upbeat paragraphs, full of bright eyes and ready smiles with the extended family, my daughter and her friends in Hula outfits, a son on stage starring in his elementary school production of “Guys N Dolls,” a son on a Venetian gondola in Las Vegas a dozen years before I showed him Italy, a moms’ trip for my 40th, white water rafting that looked like a level too dangerous had our family spilled over.

The photos gave me pause, reflecting on how much has changed since. The grandmother and an aunt have passed, my sister who was sure she’d never marry actually did, and I wiped myself out exploring NYC’s nightlife before vaccine cards and sidewalk dining got fashionable. After countless trips abroad–some by myself, some with the family as well as separately with each son and daughter–I haven’t hankered for a plane ride even after lockdowns were lifted.

More recently, I adopted a grandma in the next town because she’s 95 and lives alone. I often catch myself in pajamas early and am content to admire the Manhattan skyline from this side of the Hudson. The ducklings have sprouted magnificent wings, going off on adventures in their expanding worlds. Two of the three have flown the nest, stopping home to roost only for the holidays like proper adults.

The satisfaction of witnessing them thrive makes the freedom of empty nest even more delicious. Now I can enjoy time as I please. Alarm clocks and driving destinations are all my choosing. I cook only when I feel like it and though my husband still steers clear of the stove, we have inadvertently switched roles and he is now the magic behind our self-cleaning sink. He keeps busy with domestic chores and grocery runs while I dress up and go out into world.

As we give thanks for all that we’ve been through, I believe I share every parent’s hope that our eaglets learn to trust and be gentle with themselves as they manage the dips and highs of life’s air currents, remembering as they soar that challenges and fumbles are how we grow in this adventure. May they know that all feelings–both good and bad, uplifting and painful–are best embraced as guides, as helpful information nudging us towards what we need to change or accept. In these times of superficial yet compelling social media, may they recognize that genuine happiness is not loud nor flashy and doesn’t need the spotlight nor approbation outside one’s own. May they find meaning and great satisfaction in engaging work that surrounds them with the best of inspiring people.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (top left) to share what you’re thankful for and know that I’m thankful for your lighting up my journey!

xoxox

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xoxox

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Mountain
    Nov 25, 2021 @ 21:51:21

    Thanksgiving, It’s never too late to learn more about history. I think it’s interesting learning the varied history of the holiday. I’m still reading and sorting through the different versions after hearing one version a few days ago that got me thinking. I don’t think the Indigenous Americans are really appreciated but they should be. During my travels all over the US during the last couple of years, I took roads less traveled through Indian Reservations when I could. It was eye, mind, and heart-opening. I’ve found where our thanks are needed and deserved. If not for their open-arm welcome to settlers of this new land where would we be today. The other side was more political (of course) and if their first efforts were not re-thought and realistically looking to the future, again, where would we be today.

    Thank you to the Native Americans of then and now!

    Mountain

    Reply

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