Many Thanks

November 23rd, 2010

It appeared the following day on the kitchen table.
Without my knowing.
The basket, the notes.
An idea previously shot down, now taken up.
The 10 year old owning it, encouraging it to mean something.

“It just sounds silly,” they had all said.
“How boring, do we have to?” the whining began.
My enthusiasm faded. I tried but had lost this one.
So I let it go and gave up.

Thanksgiving in America is sometimes awkward for the outsider
with no family traditions, or historical connection.
The day can be long and empty.
I was keen to create our own meaning. I’m the mother, it’s my job.
But it felt too late, and perhaps it was silly after all.

Yet there he was, the next morning.
The 10 year old, with his head down, writing.
And soon the 7yr old and teenager joined him, at the table.
Throughout the day the basket filled with little torn pieces of paper.
Quietly my husband and I added our own.

And so, after dinner.
We read.
Each note a gift of appreciation for one another;
“I am thankful for you driving me, for cuddling me, for helping me, for feeding me, for loving me….”
And on it went until all the often unspoken words in the day
were said right out loud. To each other.

The basket still sits on the kitchen table.
Days later I cannot remove it.
A reminder of how a boy, some scrap paper and a generous heart
can inspire a new family tradition.
And for this, I am truly thankful.

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