We give thanks
Daddy, did you know that Thanksgiving is because of the Maryflower?”
I look up, startled. “The — do you mean the Mayflower, how do you —?”
“They came to Pimith Rock.”
You have my full attention. “Well, actually, the Pilgrims first landed in Provincetown, baby— ”
“No daddy! Pimith Rock!”
“Ok ok, jeez, fine, for now. “It’s a rock.”
There’s a long pause. We look at each other.
I say, “We can visit Plymouth, uh, I mean Pimith Rock sometime if you’d like.”
You nod. “I can be an Indian.”
“I can wear my Indian feathers when we go to Pimith Rock.”
“Your — what, wait, feathers, oh no I don’t think—”
“There were Indians, daddy!”
“Yes, I know!” I realize I’m arguing with a three-year old.
I also realize that you are getting so far ahead of me, suddenly, every day, that I may never catch up. Honestly, I had no expectation of having to tip-toe over the Thanksgiving story mine field with you for some time yet, but apparently your teachers have other ideas and you are like a fact sponge.
So here we are.
Here’s the thing about gratitude and thankfulness. I want that to be an everyday part of your life experience. I want you to not just understand what it means to have more than so many others, but I want that thankfulness to exist in your heart every day, and I want that gratitude to extend outward. It’s not enough to be thankful for what you have; the next step is to give to those who don’t.
For now, family will be enough. You’ve already offered to help your momma and your aunt prepare dinner. You’ve already said you want to watch football with your cousins. This is a good start.
Forget the pilgrims and the rock and the Native Americans, for now. We’ll have time for that. For now, especially now, let’s just begin with family.
And for your teachers, perhaps some… alternatives, for when you return to school.
I lean in close, like I’m telling you a secret. “Did you know, baby, that nine other countries celebrate Thanksgiving?”
“Do they have pilgrims?”
“Nope. But tell your teachers that in South Korea, they wrestle! And in China, they eat Moon Cake!”
Your eyes widen. “Cake?”
And so it begins…