Our 2009 Thanksgiving Vacation Road Trip
(Just kidding. I only wish my minivan was that snazzy).
Ah, Thanksgiving. When I was growing up, it was the most momentous of family holidays because it was the one major holiday that was entirely, solely, unabashedly, and unapologetically devoted to eating.
Sure, there's that whole thing about being "thankful." But historically speaking, on that first Thanksgiving, those pilgrims were really just thankful they had some food on the table. They were starving, people! They didn't waste time going around the table telling sappy stories about how thankful they were for their families and what not! If anything, they just thanked each other for passing the boiled vegetables real quick like!
(And that is another history lesson brought to you by Megan's memory of elementary school classes, supplemented a minute ago by Wikipedia).
So if you really want to honor the true meaning of Thanksgiving, it's perfectly fine to be like my family and just focus on the turkey and pumpkin pie. It's called a "historically accurate" Thanksgiving, if you want to get technical. Which can come in handy if you need to explain why you interruped your great-grandma's soliloquy about the importance of being thankful to say "Pass the turkey, stat!"
Anyhoo, my family devotes months of planning to our Thanksgiving menu. Not that anything is ever different...every year it's the same. Turkey, secret family recipe for stuffing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, rolls, etc. etc. etc. But the reason that nothing needs to be changed is that my family's Thanksgiving menu has reached Thanksgiving nirvana. It is perfect. And due to such perfection, we like to endlessly discuss it beginning in mid to late September of each year. It drives my husband crazy. He is an outsider, though, so he just doesn't understand (he once told me he doesn't even like the secret stuffing. The horror! The horror!)
But the past couple of years, a wrench has been thrown into everyone's plans.
It's called...having children. And having two sets of grandparents who both want to see said grandchildren on various major holidays. So this Thanksgiving, I will be forgoing my side of the family's Thanksgiving festivities and traveling to my in-laws instead. Granted, there will be turkey and fixings galore, which I'm sure will be delicious. We might even get two turkeys, since Scott's parents are divorced and we're splitting our holiday time between them. (I never thought of that as a positive factor about divorce...two turkeys on Thanksgiving! I wonder if they put that in the self-help books.)
But it's just not the same.
So tonight, my family all gathered for an early "Fakesgiving" celebration. We all pitched in...Scott and I supplied the homemade pumpkin pie and wine, my brother and sister-in-law brought apple pie and a sweet potato dish, my grandma and uncle brought cookies and salad, my dad made the secret stuffing, and my mom baked and roasted and mashed and carmelized everything else for a Fakesgiving feast that was beyond compare.
Everything was delish. And maybe, just maybe, this year I'm thankful not only for the food, but for a family who would go to all this trouble just to get to celebrate Thanksgiving with me and my husband and our kids. *Sniff*
Although on second thought, they are still planning to have real Thanksgiving in a couple weeks. Which means they'll get a turkey feast twice in the same month. Which means that...wait a minute...Fakesgiving wasn't about me at all! They just did it for the extra turkey!!!
As I went about my business cleaning up this morning, one of my children (Owen) began to play one of his favorite games...I call it "Turn the tv on, turn the tv off." It's kind of self-explanatory.
In the 10 second intervals that the tv remained on, Ashley somehow became engrossed in Akeelah and the Bee, which was the movie of the day playing on the Disney channel. I've never seen this movie, but I've heard it's about kids and spelling bees and issues related to such. Now how's that for a helpful synopsis?
Anyway, as I watched Akeelah spell the word "pastiche", I realized that I had on my hands what is called a "teachable moment." Also, I realized that Owen was driving me crazy with the tv.
So I turned off the tv for good, and attempted to teach Ashley how to spell a few words. First we spelled her name. Then we spelled "cat". Then we went to my mom's for lunch. (Hey, we were hungry and she was serving pizza rolls. You would've gone too).
Later tonight, we got back to spelling.
Me: Ashley, do you want to learn how to spell Aidan and Owen's names?
Ashley: Okay, mommy.
Me: Their names are easy to remember...Owen's name begins with the letter "O". See? O-wen. And Aidan's name begins with the letter "A". A-idan. Isn't that neat?
Ashley: And my name begins with the letter "A"!
Me: Yup, that's right. But your name makes the "ah" sound. Like Ah-shley.
Ashley: Mommy, I wish Aidan and Owen had new names.
Me: You don't like their names?
Me: Well, what would you name them if you could give them different names?
Ashley: Um, I'd name Aidan "Cute Little Aidan."
Me: Aw, that's sweet! And what would you name Owen?
And thus ended our spelling lesson for the night.
Ooh, Halloween was b.u.s.y.
First we decorated the house all scary-like......oooooooooh!
We had a last minute costume change when Owen refused to try on his Yoda hat. Fortunately, Aidan simultaneously fell in love with it so the switch was easy. That is, until Yoda saw that the Ewok got to have a brown nose and flipped out that he didn't.
But not to worry...the force is strong with this mama. I simply whipped out my eyeliner pencil with the cap still on and pretended to draw an identical nose on Aidan. Luckily he fell for my Jedi-mind trick. Although I did feel kind of guilty later when he went around proudly pointing out his non-brown nose to anyone who would look.
The trick-or-treating went fabulously as well. The boys were quite brave. Apparently the Star Wars costumes gave them the little oomph in self-esteem that they needed to accept candy from strangers. Ashley was her typical outgoing self - although she was the first of the bunch to lose steam. One of my favorite quotes from the night: "Daddy, Super Girl wants to be carried."
My other favorite moment from the night was when Aidan picked out a pencil instead of candy from someone's Halloween bucket. Look at my little Einstein wanting a pencil instead of sugar! Bless his heart. Although pencils don't feed a mama's need for a sugar rush in the middle of the night.
Yes, I steal my kids' Halloween candy. Never underestimate the power of the dark side....or dark chocolate.
Don't forget to enter my giveaway by leaving a comment on my previous post!! The winner will be announced on Friday!