This is the church, this is the steeple, open the door and see all the children. I place my hand flat on a blank piece of paper and spread the fingers wide. I put the sharpened pencil point down to trace the outline of a turkey named not Tom, but Mom. Then, I pick up the crayons and color in five very different, beautiful feathers—red for Chris, green for John, blue for Walt, pink for Lee, orange for Ed and one wattle I do with them for me!
Every day I give thanks for the flock I hatched. With numerous drumsticks battling for my bountiful attention I have more than enough on my plate. But it is because of times like these that I never say clean up your dish! This family of feathers likes to flap their wings together and are always stuffing me with something, making Thanksgiving at our house a daily tradition. I am grateful for the unique table presentation of the loud and clear individual gobble from each bird that rules the roost.
Chris, the apple pie of my eye, has inherited a taste for horror movies such as Jaws, Halloween, and Friday the 13th. Despite knowing exactly what is going to happen we continue to watch them over and over, again and again. He keeps me up on the times and channels of our favorite flicks. The meat of the matter is pressure cooker Noah, who is on a slow pursuit to beat the clock and be on time when he is habitually late. Alexa may not see eye to eye with us potato heads. However, she mashes our lumps and bumps with affection. Jon boards his gravy boat to pour his fun loving, joking ways all over the place. His hands are always being caught in the cookie jar, because the lid in his sticky fingers makes a loud clanking noise when he tries to quietly put it back on. To him I am Homeslice, and his nickname for me warms my heart like a hot chocolate. Bren is the carat of glazed carrots. He helps us to see the good in everyone and colors our world as bright as the tangerine glow of sunrises and sunsets. These five ingredients are added and mixed to cook up leftover meals that can be reheated season after season.
This is the soul food that I have to keep in mind when I start to rant and rave about the kids not cooking for me. I need to sit down to my substitute food of thought and feelings and relish how it fills me up. Especially when I cut coupons, run relays in the Shop Rite for two hours after work with other customers, bag, load the car, drag everything into the house, put the groceries away, and then cook for a bunch of turkeys who prefer to feast on Buffalo Wild Wings take-out!
After all is said and done it is time to reap a cornucopia of, yes, bones! The final course is addressed with multiple wishes, because despite how I carved it one was never enough! After collecting wishbones from three Thanksgivings my brood got a chance to enjoy a harvest without squabbling like hens over whose turn it is to snap them apart.
Thanksgiving is a day to pick up knives and forks and dig into the blessings that have been served up. But, in reality, so is every other day, even if we are not eating the customary dinner. Who really needs cranberry sauce to gather around the table and swap tidbits of conversation? And the kids don’t like the green bean casserole anyway! Pack on the comfort with a buttered biscuit. Partake of the love that ruffles family feathers while bringing them closer together. My chicken fingers may be all grown up, but they are only an arm’s length away.