Giving Thanks

Before you head off for parts known, before you begin developing a familiar intimacy with your ovens and stoves, before your refrigerator begs you to refrain from adding one more thing…

There are so many clichés associated with being thankful – and I doubt that I will come up with anything new. Yet, in advance of the arrival of our family, I felt the need to extend my thoughts to all of you.  I’m thankful for so much and words fail me (which I submit is a good thing).  I am truly blessed with a family I adore, a husband who humors my nuttiness and sons/daughters-in-law who accept that their mom is as corny as a Hallmark commercial.  I have an amazing sister who I adore and will miss on Thursday (along with my nephews and niece who will be having their own family Thanksgiving in NY).  I can appreciate the beginning of a new day and I can delight in the feeling of snuggling into bed at day’s end.  I have a body that complains each day and yet we’re still getting along.  I know bountiful love.  We’ve got three pups – two of whom are perfect and one who is re-calibrating the spectrum of mischief that I used to consider part and parcel of puppyhood.  Our home is my sanctuary; I have never felt safer.

I am thankful for all of you who have come to read this blog, write to me and share your thoughts, inspire me with your encouragement and humor.  I love that I have learned so much from your posts, taking to heart much of what you have written and incorporating it into my being.  My friends – in cyberspace or in my physical reality – you are in this orbit of gratitude which circles rhythmically through my life.  And so, you all should be told as often as possible, just how much you are appreciated.  Would that we took the time to say these things more frequently than once or twice a year.  For those who are celebrating Thanksgiving on Thursday – I wish you stuffed tummies, full hearts, TUMS and love.  Actually, this thought holds regardless of whether there’s a turkey in the oven.  I’m heading deep into the heart of cooking territory for the next few days, so I send this to you now.  Thank you for being who you are to me.

 

I Am SO Hating Hallmark

Each year I swear this  isn’t going to happen…as the days tick down I steel myself.   At this point my emotional armor is ostensibly secure and unyielding.  I am prepared for battle and I will emerge victorious.  Hallmark – you’re going down.

And I see the commercial where all these ‘moms’ (in quotes for I don’t really know if they are moms) look into the camera and implore their kids to ‘just’ – “just tell me you’re proud of me”, “just tell me I’m doing this right”, “just tell me you love me”, “just tell me I matter to you”…and I dissolve into a weeping fool.  My steely protection melts, my waterproof mascara fails miserably (note to cosmetic companies – I would be a good tester for your waterproof eye makeup) and as I gulp, I curse the fact that yet again they got me.  Dammit.

I’m great in a crisis – if you need someone stoic, calm and focused, call me.  Give me a love story, a happy ending – no matter how predictable, expressions of affection and/or appreciation and I’m an embarrassment.  Although I realize this dates me,  I cried during the last five minutes of “The Trouble With Angels” when Hayley Mills decided to become a nun.  Let’s not even talk about “The Parent Trap”, “Dumbo”…

The Trouble with Angels (film)

The Trouble with Angels (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are other commercials airing here that press my emotional buttons too,  but Hallmark represents all of those advertisers that are thriving by making saps like me cry.  Shame on you.  I’m a mom – I don’t think you’re supposed to reduce me to tears and have me feel stupid for doing so simultaneously.  I don’t begrudge any holiday – prepackaged or otherwise – which encourages people to acknowledge their love for one another.  I’ve really been blessed with the relationships I have with my sons – and we have always been generously affectionate and articulate about our feelings for each other.  I’m completely crazy about them,  proud of the men they are, enthralled by their stories and thankful that they still want to share them with me.  I love the women they have chosen to share their journeys and relish the time I have with them too.

And if I’m going to cry thinking about Mother’s Day, that’s what I’d like to cry about.  This indescribable love that grabs me by the throat, the sensory memories I have of my babies after bath time, their giggles before their voices changed and their dirty jokes after their voices changed, their delight when they eclipsed me in height,  little hands hugging my neck, singing to them at night and sloppy kisses that would leave my cheeks smudged and wet…

There are thousands upon thousands of moments in a lifetime that I would rather cry over and a Hallmark commercial isn’t one of them.  Yet I have not figured out a way to steel myself from the trite advertisements for love, which in and of themselves somehow minimize what is in my heart.  So until we get past Sunday, I think I’ll leave the tv off, avoid the card store and just look forward to seeing the kids over the weekend.