Thanksgiving has come and gone. I didn’t cook this year. Normally, I’m glued to Food Network the week prior to the biggest cooking holiday of the year, searching for that newest culinary creation to add to my menu. I clean the dining room, spread the special-occasion table cloth, lay the fancy silverware beside the good dishes and spend three days in the kitchen.
But this year, I didn’t do it. Not because I am not thankful. Not because I have more important things to do.
The reason I didn’t break out my inner Julia Child is because my oldest child wouldn’t be sitting across from me this year. He was sitting at someone else’s table hundreds of miles away, eating another momma’s turkey and mashed potatoes, while the Hubs, the Young One and I took in a buffet dinner at a local hotel. I’m saving my energy for a marathon Christmas cook-fest.
Holiday travel is notorious for inducing stress, so because the break is a relatively short one, the Older One decided he would take a short bus-trip to Boston with another West Point cadet instead of crossing his fingers that the air travel gods would smile on him and bring him to and from our Louisville home delay-free.
Of course, I thought of my boy repeatedly as we all declared what we were thankful for. I wondered if he was lonely. I wondered if he had enough to eat. I wondered if he felt comfortable in a home not his own.
His first text Wednesday helped ease my mind as he let me know he arrived safely.
The next one helped ease my heart as he declared with multiple exclamation points that his hosts were “really, really nice”.
On the phone after his Thanksgiving feast, he shared something that I am sure he said just to make me smile. “I ate ‘real’ stuffing, and it was good.” The boy who sits at my Thanksgiving table refuses any stuffing that does not come from a box and the stove top. Every year, I pledge to make a homemade version, and every year he convinces me, his holiday will be ruined if I follow though on the threat.
So, this year, the thing for which I am most thankful is the generosity of a family far away…for taking in a young man known for putting down five pounds of potatoes by himself…for giving him stress-free days…for introducing him to the world of “real stuffing”…and for filling in for his momma.
No, I didn’t cook this year, but I am thankful another momma with a warm home and a loving heart did.
*This is the Five Minute Friday Finale for 2012. Join us on Lisa-Jo Baker’s site in January for more Friday blogging fun!