My sister told me she read somewhere that on Thanksgiving, people consume, on average, 5000 calories.
I think I was somewhere above that average.
Alex was in heaven. This year, what with studying about the Pilgrims and the Indians, and King George and turkey and cranberries and all that, AND with not one, but TWO Thanksgiving feasts this past Tuesday – one at his kindergarten class and one at daycare, not to mention all the construction paper Thanksgiving-related artwork and projects that he’s been bringing home for the last week and a half, AND, his very first performance in a musical. Okay – the kids were dressed in Pilgrim and Indian construction paper costumes, and they sang a couple of songs and then, standing in a row, recited a piece about Thanksgiving. Alex’s line was "oysters and clams, tummies growling" – and then he held up a sheet of paper with a picture of oysters and clams on it.
Bill said Alex did really well. He was ready to go with his line, spoke up loudly and clearly. My little boy. I wish I’d been there, but I was at work. Julia was there, though. And Bill said at one point another little kid was supposed to say his line but apparently forgot it and so there was a great silence of collectively held parent breath…and Julia…Julia…well, she chose that exact moment to, um, pass gas.
Yep. Julia punctuated the silence.
Anyway, Alex’s favorite part of Thanksgiving is, if you ask him, "The Feasts!" And so he was ECSTATIC when it was time for dinner at my parents’ house yesterday. Yeah, yeah, he had fun playing with Julia and his cousins, but when it was time for The Feast, he couldn’t get to the table fast enough. Want some turkey? "Oh yes!" Stuffing? "I LOVE stuffing! It’s my most favorite thing!" No mashed potatoes though – he doesn’t like them. Green beans – okay. Brussels sprouts sauteed with pancetta? Okay. The biscuits that his cousin Natalie baked (Yay Natalie!), YES! And – the most surprising part – "can I have more of that pink stuff?" It wasn’t pink, it was red. My mom had made a cooked cranberry relish, and Alex LOVED it.
And then – as suddenly as he had started, he put down his shovel and said he was done. Probably because Julia had already left the table and was playing somewhere and he didn’t want to miss out on anything.
But then dessert time rolled around, and we all rolled our bloated selves back to the table to have pie. He had some of each, but the best part was when I asked my Dad what kind of pie he wanted – not that I needed to – and before Dad could answer, Alex hollered out "Wait! I know what kind! SQUASH! Because I know that’s your favorite kind!" Which, of course, it is.
So then, after sitting around groaning about the pie we’d just eaten, and talking and laughing and groaning some more, while the kids went and played or hung out outside in the back of my dad’s pickup, we started gathering our things together and getting ready to head home.
And then Alex appeared again. "Where’s the pie?" We put it away. It’s going to stay at Grammy and Papa’s house. "But…but I’m HUNGRY!"
The whole ride home "Mommy, I’m HUNGRY….Mommy, I’m SO hungry…." and on and on. Like he was absolutely STARVING. Because, though he’d been enthused about dinner, he only ate a little of it (except the cranberry stuff) so he could go play. And now, right when it was time to leave, he wanted to eat again. He groaned in agony for half the ride home. And once home?
The newly traditional can of spaghettios and meatballs was opened and heated and shared by the little hungry boy and the little hungry girl.
And they were very thankful.