It’s Thanksgiving, and with it comes the big meal, which this year we hosted at our house with my wife’s family visiting. This is good, since it means we don’t have to drive anywhere (although we did that last weekend anyway) and bad, since we have to get the house ready and prepare the meal. I will admit that my role consisted primarily of extending and setting the dining room table (not an insignificant task – where would we eat if not for the table being prepared, thank you very much). My wife prepared an spectacular feast, and all were more than satisfied. She is an outstanding cook, which is fortunate for the rest of us since I have very limited talents in that area (one of the few areas of course). I suppose that I could learn, but my repertoire currently consists of little more than hamburgers, turkey sandwiches, spaghetti, eggs and chicken tenders.
Thanksgiving and Christmas are the two times of the year where we feel inclined to break out the fine china that the rest of the year doubles as elegant decoration on shelves in our dining room. After all the thought and expense that went towards selecting our china (just think of all the more exciting things that could have been purchased from our wedding registry), it’s a tragedy to never use it. (Note to future newlyweds – don’t register for china – wait to get it from an old relative or buy it at an estate sale.)
Hosting a semi-fancy meal at a home with three children is a bit of a challenge. Sitting 4- and 6-year-old boys at a dining room table full of china is like dropping your husband in the middle of a Victoria’s Secret store –there’s a lot to look at but little you can touch – and both places someone’s almost guaranteed to get yelled at no matter what they do amongst all the delicates. I suppose the only thing worse is bringing your kids to someone else’s house in front of fine china. (I’ve decided that if such an event happens to us, I will seat them out in the minivan and shuttle food back and forth to avoid calamity.) Yesterday, since we still retained home field advantage, I concluded our best bet was to go simple and sit the boys at their normal plastic placemat, plate and cups amongst the china.
I suppose this post would be more exciting if I reported that the kids caused a giant catastrophe, spilled their drinks, tipped over the candles to set the napkins ablaze and shattered the china cabinet doors with an airborne utensil, but they didn’t (there’s always next year…). To their credit, the older boys were well behaved and the baby was napping, so it was reasonably smooth sailing. We’ve come a long way from a few years ago when my wife was pregnant with boy #2 and she nearly collapsed while determinedly trying to prepare the turkey, Daddy literally stuffing crackers into her mouth for nourishment as hour after hour passed without the blessed bird getting done. Or the Christmas morning when the french toast caught fire in the oven as we happily opened presents in the next room until we noticed the smoke wafting down the hall (trust me there’s nothing that spreads Christmas cheer like breaking out the fire extinguisher).
With everything going smoothly this year, after our familial feast, Daddy took a nap on the couch in front of the Packers/Lions game, we took the entire brood for a walk around the neighborhood (as my in-laws marveled at the herds of deer that have invaded our area), and in a major compromise to demonstrate my undying love for my wife, instead of staying home and watching the Giants game, I went with her to the movies and watched the sappy vampire and werewolf big screen soap opera that is Twilight: New Moon (humor me for a minute – picture Edward Scissorhands as a vampire and you pretty much have the idea…“I love you! But I’m a vampire, I must leave you before you get hurt. I love you, but I’m a werewolf!” I’m not sure what is more troubling, that I went to the movie or that my wife has read the books multiple times. But I digress…)
Thanksgiving is obviously a day when we stop to give thanks – which is something that we should be doing all the time but often forget. Thanks to our Creator for His endless blessings, love and faithfulness to us in all situations. Thanks to my wife for her constant love despite me being me. Thanks to my three boys for teaching me that life is much bigger than me. And on a smaller scale (no offense), thanks to you all for reading – it has been fun these past three months writing about life in our house. Happy Thanksgiving.