Monday, November 19, 2012

Getting ready for Thanksgiving

I love Thanksgiving!  Ironically, I did not love it as a child.  I remember being expected to watch the Macys Parade on TV and being b.o.r.e.d to tears.  Ironically in a supreme twist of cosmic humor, my kids adore watching this parade and it is a part of the holiday tradition that they look forward to each year.  KC researches what the floats will be and can't wait to have Aunt Lynne arrive so she can cuddle with him while they watch for Santa at the end of the parade!

There are other traditions too.  The cornucopia above is on the side board throughout November.  KC and Lissa are responsible for arranging the display as they see fit.  They always do a really good job and even if they didn't, it would still be theirs to do because that is how they will learn color and balance and make memories.

I did not take pics of the turkey place cards they made out of foam either.  It is another family tradition for them to do this each year.  It isn't always turkeys, it is whatever seasonal thing sparks our fancy each year. We have stamped gold acorns and oak leaves on cardstock, made indian corn out of cardboard etc.  Nothing hard or elaborate as they have to make about 12 of them and for kids, that is a lot!

And then there are things that become tradition in their yearly use.  There is my grandmothers silver candlesticks that we use as part of the centerpiece each year.  The while plates with the white on white pattern that my wife and I bought years ago dress the table.  And the flatware above is polished by yours truly each year and used for the meal. This flatware was my mother in laws and comes from Thailand where my FIL was stationed many years ago.  K and her family lived there for several years when she was very young.  

As I was polishing the forks and such tonight it occured to me that I never talked about Thailand with my mother in law.  I "knew" their years there from K and never thought to seek out her perspective and her story.  I am sure it was a different story--that of a young wife and mother living in a foreign country. And now, I can't hear that story as she died far too young, when we all thought we all had much more time and many more chances.

I am reminded that my children also have stories.  Stories we have made together.  They also have stories of their lives before me.  Some I have been lucky enough to become the keeper of.  I have every scrap of info that i could ever find for each of my kids carefully recorded in scrapbooks.  They have access to them any time they want and we often look at them together.  But they also have stories that are as lost as the stories of my inlaws years in Thailand.  Things that happened or people who may have touched their lives in some way that I know nothing about. Despite my best efforts some of these things, are gone and unless we make a connection with first family members, are not likely to become shiny polished parts of their lives.  There will be empty places where they know something should be, but don't know what it is or where to find it.

That is why I am passionate about keeping connection with all the people who care about my kids--first family members, friends etc.  There can never be too many people who care about your children.  Just keep drawing the circle wider to enfold them all.  And tell the stories, and make the memories.

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