Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Giving thanks

What a weekend: 0kt0berfest on Friday, excursion with houseguests Saturday, cooking and consuming Thanksgiving dinner with my sister and her family on Sunday, Thanksgiving parade with them on Monday morning. Monday evening? Overnight flight to Denmark.

I'm in Denmark now, having joked that I had to go to Europe to get a good night's sleep--last week was a helluva week, you see--and I miss them terribly. How can it be that I'm so glad to be here--enjoying who I am when I am a traveller, something I've had a chance to experience quite a bit this year--and aching for home?

What I am thankful for, this year, then, are my commitments and my freedoms: my family, this family that Pynchon and I have built together, which we continue to build every day is the stabilizing force in my life; my work, with its selfish insistence that I follow my own intellectual interests and its requirements that I travel far and wide to learn and to teach, is my freedom.

It's balance, where I am usually complaining of being off-kilter.

Here's a little of our Thanksgiving, a little bit of a life that is, both bracingly and sadly, a whole continent away from me:

Here's Munchkin, playing in some leaves we raked up together: I couldn't find a kid-sized rake, so I got her a shrubbery rake, which has green tines and wooden handle, just like my rake. She loves it. What she loves more? Jumping in the pile and demanding to know where her feet have gone to. Grabbing piles of leaves by the armful and moving the whole shebang 7 feet north. Lying flat on her back and flayling like mad, yelling HOORAY!

Munchkin and my sister: we are all laughing because Munchkin has just soundly sneezed into the bowl. Twice. We didn't tell anyone, but we baked the hell out of that broccoli casserole, I tell you!

If your toddler wants to help prepare Thanksgiving dinner, get her (or him!) to shred bread for stuffing. Toddlers love destroying stuff, and they are in fact very good at it. Toddlers can be very methodical, and Munchkin at least loves 'cooking'. She only ate about half a (very stale) piece, and dutifully and cheerfully shredded the rest. No sneezing!

The cousins at the parade: I love that they look like siblings. It makes the age difference (13, 7, 2) seem less jarring, somehow. They adore each other and it just fills my heart. It does.

Well, if you've made it this far, thanks for indulging my long-distance sappiness.

You know, I was just looking at my recent posts before I started this and I noticed something odd. There are several posts right up there on the front page where my baby doesn't appear at all. I'm not sure how I feel about that. I'll give it a think.


Jenifer said...

I love pictures in the fall, the colours, the leaves and for us it always involves apple picking. Fall is my favourite season by far and what a nice to time to remind ourselves to be thankful.

As for the your last comment...about posts without Munchkin. I wouldn't over think it. You are you and she is she and together you are a part of a wonderful, dynamic family. She is entitled to be herself away from you and vice versa.

Enjoy your trip. Miss your man and Munchkin. Denmark? I guess I can't recommend any nice tropical drinks then.

kittenpie said...

OMG look how big she's gotten! And she's gorgy!

and it may be contradictory, but I can totally understand how you can both love and hate being away. I feel that sometimes about even going to work here.

No Mother Earth said...

The picture in the leaves is stellar. As is the one of you and Munchkin cooking.

On a side note: Is it weird that I always look at pictures now, and wonder - is this the picture that they're going to keep with them always and treasure?

Omaha Mama said...

Cousins are great. It fills my heart too for sure. Happy belated Thanksgiving.

motherbumper said...

I still love jumping in leaves and sneezing in side dishes. Mental Note: do not eat side dishes at Mimi's house.

Munchkin has a glorious head of hair - where do I get me some curls like that?

Have fun in Denmark and if something stinks, check the cheese.

Kyla said...

I love that little Munchkin. She darling. She and her cousins DO look like siblings!

ewe are here said...

Lovely girl... and so nice to spend time with cousins. :-)

Denmark, huh? I love Copenhagen... hope you're getting a chance to get out and about.

crazymumma said...

Does she EVER stop smiling? That in and of itself I would be thankful for.

Beck said...

She's a beautiful gal - and BIG! She must be really tall for her age, eh?
I find that as my baby gets older, I write less about her. I think it's natural.
Are you still in Denmark? You lucky duck.

Mamalooper said...

Denmark - would LOVE to be there. They make some good film and have some fab design....

Loving the cute photos - family is everything - no matter who makes up that family, whether by blood or chosen.