Thanksgiving is not really a holiday I get all that excited about so I’m glad it’s behind me. For starters, I am not a fan of turkey – whether cooked breast up or down, wrapped in bacon, stuffed with bread or rice, nuts and berries. It just seems like a wannabe Christmas…except it’s missing the best part, PRESENTS.
And Thanksgiving in Canada has nothing to do with the pilgrims in Massachusetts celebrating their first successful harvest and breaking bread with the Native Americans – so I always find it kind of odd when I see “pilgrim inspired” decorations – like the big black hats with gold buckles or historical pilgrim costumes.
And finally, why turkey? Why not something else all together different and more delicious, like a roast? Or spaghetti? Or roast and spaghetti? Now that’s a fun and tasty meal. I mean, were there really that many turkeys roaming about that someone thought, hey! Now that’s a convenient meal? After some digging, here’s what I found…
According to an article in Slate, turkeys have taken the centre stage as they were fresh, affordable and big enough to feed a crowd. Furthermore, as cows and chickens were more useful alive and ham or pork wasn’t considered fit for special occasions, turkey became the choice by default, “because the birds could be slaughtered without a huge economic sacrifice.” Seriously? Poor turkey. And they were cheaper (and apparently easier to deal with) than geese. So these nice, sweet turkeys spend all of spring and summer eating insects and worms and grow to just the right size by Thanksgiving feast. Well now, that’s enough for this girl to maintain the current status as non-turkey-tarian.
Regardless of the main dish though, I still always find a way to eat too much, lie flat on the ground and complain ad nauseam ad infinitum of a bellyache and turkey coma (despite the fact that I don’t eat the stuff), and pretend to be at least 4 or 5 months pregnant as I drunkenly (on food, not booze) waddle about waiting for dessert. But not this year.
The weekend started early for me as fortunately, I had a reprieve from work. Though unfortunately for me, the boys also had a reprieve from school. So after we kissed Mr. Niceguy goodbye (no reprieve for him which turned out to be the reprieve…my, how twisted the universe is sometimes…wait for it) boys and I decided to get dressed and ready to start our fun filled day of monitoring my computer should a work crisis arise and shopping for the ingredients of a fancy salad I had promised to bring.
And that’s when things unraveled. Literally. Moments after Mr. Niceguy’s departure (and seconds after my too short hot shower). The 7 year old and 3 year old tore into my room, screaming with fits of laughter, all while I was trying to straighten my unruly hair…and that’s when I saw it. Or should I say, them. The 7 year old had a lump right in the middle of his forehead the size of a small quail egg. It looked like it was the result of some sort of insect bite. And while examining him, the 3 year old came in for a look when I noticed that he had a lump the size of a small chicken egg on his neck! But no sign of a bite or any other sort of trauma. What could it be? Meningitis? Mumps? Mono?
All plans on hold while we rushed to the doctor’s office. I knew we were done for (along with our plans to go up North the next day) when the doctor came in and exclaimed, “Ugh. What’s that?” Not a good sign. No. Twenty minutes later, and the explanation that it would either go away on its own (with a little help of some antihistamines) or become the size of a tennis ball requiring hospitalization, we walked out of the office – them ecstatic to be leaving and me completely panic stricken.
And in that state, we accomplished two Thanksgiving dinners. Two dinners complete with family that we hadn’t seen in such a long time. Truly lovely, yes, but these meetings always seem to give rise to the sorts of conversations that involve me having to recall people, places and events encountered at a time when I don’t even think I was sentient! Like, “remember when you were a baby and you would only drink milk after your mother would drop blue food colouring in it?” True story. My peculiar particularities started at an early age…but no, I can’t remember! Or,
did you know, we found out we were pregnant with you just months after we were married when your dad took me to the doctor because I was constantly sick to my stomach!
Great. A guilt trip on Thanksgiving… And by the way, gross! Didn’t a stork deliver me?
But I survived. And fortunately for us, the lump went down the better path, and started a slow shrink to normal, all under the extremely watchful eye of Mr. Niceguy, who was so worried that he decided to camp at the foot of the 3 year old’s bed until he drifted to sleep.
So Thanksgiving, I’m glad you’ve passed. But I haven’t forgotten what you stand for and so here goes:
I’m thankful that the chicken egg lump went away. And the quail egg lump too.
I’m thankful that my illusion of a stork delivery was blown out of the water…the truth shall set you free.
I’m thankful that time with family brings out shared history – and whether I was there or not, recall it or not, it will get passed on and form part of my legacy…and to that end, I’m also thankful that Mr. Niceguy hasn’t run for the hills!
Finally, I’m thankful to have had the luxury of not just one, but two thanksgiving dinners full of too much food, too much laughter and too much love…I know it’s much more than some will ever have.
*Not a typo…just how my mom has always said thanks. Like “Thanks God”. I love you mom. Thanks God for you! And you too, dad!