Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanks and Slobbery Kisses

            Yesterday we had a huge Thanksgiving feast in Montana with my parents and some friends. It was so great to be with my parents for Thanksgiving. I think of it as the most pristine of the holidays – the least touched by Corporate America.
            Yes, the largest shopping day of the year is the day after (and in fact, Michelle is out taking advantage of the ginormous sales as I write this). But there’s no sense of cultural obligation to buy stuff on that day. It’s just a day to be with family and to be thankful. What a wonderful holiday.
            Being with my parents reminds me of how important it is for us to move down here as soon as possible. It’s a gravitational pull that having children does to me. Even now, my Mom said, “You go out and have lunch with Michelle. I’ll take care of Celia.”
            What a fantastic blessing.
            Not everyone has parents. And not everyone has parents they’d leave their kids with. What a blessing that we have this. But we need to take action in order to receive this blessing. Like any gift, the only real requirement is that you need to receive it. But so often in our lives we blindly turn down many blessings and gifts right in front of our noses. Probably we’re too busy, too fearful, too stuck in our ruts to wake up and take the time to accept all these wonderful gifts.
            I think Thanksgiving is a great time to take a step back and start giving thanks. Once we start down this path, it’s like our whole eyesight changes. We realize there’s more to smile about than grumble about. We start to notice and appreciate the people around us. However much I dislike aspects of my work environment, I realize all the things I’m so thankful for about it.
            And the things I’ve already been thankful for, like my beautiful little girl, seem all the more precious. I am amazed and thankful for her precious and precocious personality. For the curiosity that gets her into trouble. For her exploratory energy that does, admittedly, make things like road trips more difficult (she cried the last hour of the twelve-hour trip, desperately wanting to just get out of that car seat), but also gives both her and me a fresh new look at this huge world around us.
            I can take her anywhere and she’ll happily point and say, “Whazzit!” (i.e. what is it?)
            I’ve been enjoying explaining everything to her. And as I do, it continually reminds me of how magnificently detailed this world is. I’ve noticed the color of flowers, the art I’d normally have passed by, and of course, every single dog, whether the tiniest drawing in the corner of some magazine or the real deal. She just loves dogs. Squeals happily every time she sees one, and has to lean in to give a kiss.
            There are three dogs at my parents’ place, two of which love slobbering their licks all over Celia’s face. Celia has occasionally returned the kiss at the same time, which seems totally disgusting at one level, seeing a dog’s tongue inside my daughter’s mouth, but on the other hand, it totally makes me smile. If Celia doesn’t like it, she could easily pull away. But she loves it. It’s so in-your-face slobbery, right in line with her personality. I think she would totally love living closer to creation, even on a farm. A place where we can show her the stars every night and leave her with my parents to actually go out on a date!
            Yep, I don’t think it’ll be too long before we move to Montana and get ourselves a dog.

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