It's Thanksgiving Day 2009. My house smells yummy and I'm getting ready to get the car packed with all my homemade treats and head up to my brother's house for the big feast. And so begins the holiday.
Today I awoke feeling older and wiser. I used to not really care about Thanksgiving. It was just that pain-in-the-butt day before Black Friday when I was in limbo waiting for all the big sales to start. But today...today is different. I feel...thankful. Yeah, I know, it's nothing too creative or earth shattering due to the fact that Facebook is CRAMMED with every one's reasons for being blessed and today is the "normal" day everyone stops to give thanks. But even if today weren't Thanksgiving I think I'd feel this way. You see, I watched this movie called Mammoth last night. And Mammoth changed me. It opened my eyes - even more - to the fact that I'm am so extremely lucky to be able to be home with Zeke as he grows up. I won't summarize the movie - go watch it if you have any interest because it really is moving and amazing. But I will say, that as a "stay-at-home-mom" (that title always cracks me up because as so many people know who try to call me and can never get me, I'M NEVER AT HOME!!!), the movie Mammoth sent my brain reeling into that mode of "Oh my God, thank God I'm here with my kid, walking through life with him, giving him everything he needs, and being his rock." At one time, many many centuries ago, I never thought I'd ever want a child. I thought that my life was great just working, having my pups, having lots of money and cool cars and going to dinners and movies and shopping and blah, blah, blah. Then Zeke came along. And my work seemed meaningless if someone else was raising him. So I quit. And we didn't have as much money, but we still felt rich. Even richer, actually, because we all smiled a whole lot more.
Fast forward four years. Yeah, if I had been working these past four years we may have lots more in savings, lots more in our retirement and tons more "stuff". But my child would also have been raised by a stranger. He wouldn't ask for me when he knocked his front tooth out or when he got road rash on his knees and elbows. I wouldn't have been there to see him write his name for the first time. I wouldn't have held his hand as we strolled through tons of museums and libraries and sat through movies together eating buttery popcorn. And I wouldn't have been the one to hug him tight when something thrilled him, scared him, chilled him or just simply moved him to say "I love you".
I'm thankful, eternally, to God, my husband, and to my Zeke for opening my eyes to Thanksgiving. It's real and it's powerful. And it's not all about the countdown to the big sales. Imagine that.