Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What is Thanksgiving?

Dear Charlotte,

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving! I know in the snug little world of your blankie, you don't have any idea what that means, and that's okay; when you're older, you will appreciate the time you have with your family the way I do now.

Thanksgiving means a lot of different things to people. For you, me, and Daddy, it means traveling. A lot of traveling. It means two meals spent with different sides of the family on Thanksgiving, and two more meals in the weeks before,which is a lot of food, if you think about it.

Thanksgiving means naptime.

Thanksgiving means that Daddy works a ton of long days during the week leading up to Turkey Thursday, and then gets up at 2am the very next morning after all that food and traveling so that he can go to work and get overrun by the crazy Black Friday shoppers. Black Friday is another holiday, one that means absolutely nothing to you right now, and shouldn't until you're much older and acquire your first set of riot gear.

The biggest thing about Thanksgiving is family. You are so lucky; you get to see everyone in your family at Thanksgiving. Oh, we have to spread it out a little so that everybody gets some time (and who can really eat four turkey dinners in one day, really?), but it's still really awesome that you get to see everyone who loves you. Because they do. They (and we) love you an incredible amount; so much so that it's hard to describe with words that already exist. We love you a gigantiferous amount, and I hope you spend the rest of your life secure in that knowledge.
Your daddy and I believe that it is our duty as your parents to make sure you know you are loved, and loved immensely. We believe that we owe you the chance to know your family while they are still alive. Because someday, they won't be, and memories and photos will be all you have left. We owe you those memories. I have a secret for you, my darling baba. Parents aren't perfect; we make incredible mistakes over and over again and pray to the gods at night that our children will forgive us for them. Grandparents, however, are a different story. Grandparents are angels on earth, perfect in the eyes of their grandchildren. You will learn this someday. And your da and I owe our parents the chance to be those perfect grandparents to you.
You don't know it, but you've already had two Thanksgiving dinners. Two! Poppaw was mighty impressed when you ate your entire container of carrots without hesitation or complaint. Mommy won't even eat cooked carrots without complaint, so that's a big check in the plus column for you.

When you're older, if you decide you will no longer eat cooked carrots, I won't be upset. In fact, I might be a little relieved. And you know what? You will still be my amazing, precious daughter, eater of cooked carrots or not.