At the risk of repeating myself (which I do constantly according to my family) I have to say how incredibly blessed I feel to be alive and healthy and be able to be with my children and the whole family to share Thanksgiving.
On a slightly less positive note, at dinner tonight I had the sudden realization that I am the oldest person on my side of the family. Somehow up till now this fact eluded me–even though it has been true since my father died 7 years ago. Maybe everything felt different about the family structure now that there is a new generation at the bottom, which puts me at the top.
Anyway, that is one feeling leftover after dinner–other than heartburn. And of course– leftovers–possibly the best part of Thanksgiving. Especially around here since my sister, like me, is a Jewish mother. And nothing makes Jewish mothers happier than feeding people. The more the better. And this year 12 of us are sleeping under the same roof. Cozy, but competitive in one important area.
As I write this, it’s really late and everyone is asleep except for me and the generation below mine–all in their 20’s. We’re playing Monopoly. This is a beloved Thanksgiving tradition, but it puts all of us at a major disadvantage for leftovers. By the time we roll out of bed, my brother-in-law Paul will have been up for hours, and by the time we get to the kitchen, there will be a lot less food than there is right now.
Among all his wonderful qualities, after knowing and loving Paul since he first met my sister 40 years ago, nothing bonds us more than food. And after all we’ve shared, including far more leftovers than I want to think about, I feel so close to him that sometimes I forget that we’re related by marriage, not by blood.
Especially since I had another revelation tonight, thanks to my nephew Aaron. Even though I think of my family as centered around food, growing up we never were. I had a Jewish mother who didn’t like to cook. And a father who didn’t like to eat. Go figure.