The First Thanksgiving

>> Friday, November 28, 2008

No, not the one with the Pilgrims and Indians. I mean my first thanksgiving. And not the one in 1977. I mean this one, 2008, my first Thanksgiving in the kitchen. My first Thanksgiving as the matriarch of the family, responsible for the food and the traditions.

I am grateful that my first time responsible for the full meal was without critics guests to worry about. I only needed to please Hubby and Lucas and the dog, none of which are apt to criticise a warm, home cooked meal if it comes to the table. Well, at least not the dog. :)
I called my mother for her Southern cornbread dressing recipe and checked out the ButterBall website for tips on cooking and carving a turkey. But beyond what food I was to serve my family, my mind was also focused on the traditions that will be born out of this first Thanksgiving as just us, our family.

This holiday is about so many different things. The food, the football, taking time to reflect on the things we are truly thankful for, time with loved ones... I admit I did miss being with my parents and sister or hubby's family this Thanksgiving. There is something special about the bonds you feel with family as you celebrate a meal and all your blessings together. But truthfully, I really loved our quiet little day, just us. That is in no way a reflection on the loved one's we were not be able to share the day with this year. Our local family was all busy or out of town and we made the decision to not travel this holiday season. It is instead a reflection of my desire to create the same warm, loving family memories for my boys as my mom and my mother-in-law have done for me and Hubby over the years.
I put great effort into planning our day. I wanted the food to be a mix of my history and Hubby's history and something new that is just us. Something that my boys will say for years to come... "that is what my mom made for us on Thanksgiving." I made my mom's Southern dressing (instead of stuffing) and Hubby's grandma's traditional rolls. I am not sure that I brought anything new or uniquely me to the table this year (I was at work at the hospital until 1am the night before so there wasn't much time to spare). But I guess there is time for that in years to come.

Also in the spirit of building traditions, I have been trying to find and plan crafts and activities to start teaching Lucas about the significance of the day/season. He is at such a teachable age and I am trying to make the most of it. Plus, it is just fun and keeps him busy! :)

But my favorite part of our day was not the meal or even the turkey craft (pictured on right- felt pieces that he could put together different ways) that I made for Lucas to do. It was being with my boys and having us all sit around the table together. it was spending the day together and just being a family. This is my family, the four of us. The one I am responsible for nurturing and protecting and growing. I have responsibilities in my extended family too, and I certainly honor those. But this is different. This is mine. I admit I got a little emotional and teary as Hubby prayed for our meal and gave thanks to God for Lucas and Caden and all our blessings. We thanked God for Micah and asked Him to protect Lucas and Caden and grow them into strong men who love and serve God. My experience with the depths of grief and loss tends to make me feel these moments very deeply. Those times when the physical moment reaches beyond the seconds and minutes and seems to bring perspective and deep significance. I can't help but kiss Caden's head and touch Lucas' face. These are my boys.. my life. And although my family won't ever be totally whole this side of heaven, I feel extremely grateful for what God has given me. I am the queen here among my boys.

And as cheesy as this may sound, I looked over at Lucas today as we sat in the theater watching Madagascar 2 (Lucas' first movie theater experience) and got teary again. This is my baby, my Lucas, and he is growing up so fast. And as he does, so does my responsibility and desire to strengthen our bonds as a family.

So this Thanksgiving holiday, I am grateful for my family (all inclusive). But I am especially thankful for my family and for these precious tradition-building, bond strengthening times when it is just us.

Me cooking with Caden's help... He was sleeping, and that was extremely helpful. :)

My boys around our Thanksgiving table.

Lucas enjoying some homemade pumpkin pie.. especially the whipped cream on top!


Melinda November 28, 2008 at 5:56 PM looks lik eyou guys had such a great time. You go girl for cooking the feast. My DH cooks ours and oh boy can this nam cook!

Please stop by Shore's End when you have time, for an important announcement! : )

Anonymous November 29, 2008 at 8:33 AM  

Looks like it was truly wonderful. We did Thanksgiving at our house this year - our second time. We had The Husband's parents and my mother over so it was still a nice small dinner. There is something special about doing it in your house. :)

Catherine November 29, 2008 at 10:19 AM  

Hooray for you!! :)

Adventures In Babywearing December 1, 2008 at 7:26 PM  

Farrah this was absolutely lovely. I love the sling you're wearing there, too!


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