My Lesson in Acceptance and Thankfulness

The back-up plan, Image Credit:

This year I have doomed my family am hosting Thanksgiving at my house. I love a good party, however I do not have experience with, nor do I like the prospect of, disemboweling foul of any kind, so this should be interesting.

To put it nicely, I am not the biggest fan of my mother’s boyfriend. The myriad of reasons I will not get into here because I am fairly certain my mother is the only one who reads this anyway, so lets just leave it be for now. I figured that having all of my family over to my house and voluntarily getting elbows deep in turkey guts gave me the right to staunchly defend the sign I placed on my clubhouse door, scrawled in crayon no less, ‘no boys allowed, except this short list that doesn’t include my mom’s boyfriend’. (I figured excluding the Mister in our Thanksgiving festivities might put a chink in our marital armor, so he just made the cut.)

Yesterday afternoon I was high on my righteousness when my mom called and asked if I was sure the veritable ‘he’ couldn’t come with her. I could tell she was near tears as she pleaded her case, but I am ashamed to say I passed on the opportunity to repay her kindness in putting up with all of my obnoxious choices in men.

I told my mom I had to think about it and would let her know. My curt reply might not have meant much to my mother, but as I hung up I was ashamed with myself. How am I supposed to teach my own daughter to accept others when I walk into the other room and make my mom to beg me to be accepting of her choices? How is it that I could turn a family holiday into a soap box from which I call down my own mother, while expecting my own daughter to have respect for me? Damn babies, making you want to be a better you.

I called my mother that evening, I had wanted to tell her in an angry and resigned voice that I would set a place for her boyfriend if she really thought it was best for everyone that he joined us. The next morning, when I finally did talk to her, I had softened and extended the invitation in a more mild, and much more respectful manner than previously intended. I couldn’t help making it clear that it was only because I love her, and wanted to show that I have respect for her that I am putting together another place setting down. So, we have an even 12 who will be gathered around our table for tomorrow’s festivities because I am thankful for the family I have, and sometimes being thankful is about being humbled.

My first Turkey Day foray is teaching me why a calling to attend culinary school never came, but it is perhaps the humbling lesson in thankfulness and acceptance I had to embody for my daughter that I need to carry with me through the rest of the year.

The Little Girl That Cried…

The Little Girl That Cried... A Lot

There once was a little girl who had three teeth, and a fierce knack for drama. One day her mother got her out of bed and fed her a bottle. She finished the bottle and shortly thereafter began to scream like a banshee.

Her mother came racing into the living room wondering what possibly could be happening. Was the dog chewing off her leg? Had she accidentally swallowed the television? It sounded bad, and could only possibly be life or death.

When her mother arrived she found the little girl was just bored. The little girl’s mother warned her that screaming wasn’t nice and scares people for no good reason. The little girl returned to her teething ring and went back to rolling around the living room like it was her job.

Later that morning the little girl’s mother brought her to the bookstore. She wasn’t due for a nap for an hour and a half, and still had three hours before her next bottle. The little girl’s mother handed the little girl her favorite stuffed animal and a pacifier to bring along with her, and they sang on the way to the store. When they entered they were both very calm and happy.

Shortly after passing through the doors to walk amongst the words of such creative geniuses as Palahniuk, Chabon, and Thompson the little girl screamed with such fierceness that even the pages of the books shuddered with concern. All of the little old ladies in the romance and cooking sections looked upon the little girl’s mother with such scorn that she probably would have burst into flames if they had their way.

The little girl’s mother bent down to comfort her, but when she looked, it turned out the little girl was just bored. The little girl’s mother told her that screaming was not nice, and she should stop it before she ruins everyone’s morning at the bookstore.

Later that afternoon her mother got her up from her nap and gave her a fresh bottle. They played for a bit, and then her mother had to finish up some work for the day. As her mother sat typing away, the little girl let out another fearsome scream that echoed from the walls and caused the dog great concern.

The mother quickly put down her laptop and ran over to the little girl, but when she got there she found out the little girl was just bored. The little girl’s mommy told her that she was getting sick of this screaming like a banshee crap, and warned her that if she continued to scream like that she wouldn’t believe her if someone really was trying to pull her fingernails off one-by-one.

The little girl continued to scream like that for the rest of the day. And the little girl’s mommy seriously considered putting her on a one-way flight to Russia with a note pinned to her lapel, but she continued to run to her with every dolphinesque noise she let out. Damn genetic programming.