Monday, November 27, 2006

I'M GRATEFUL . . .

Because Thanksgiving is over.

Because my kids are back in school. (Yesterday I said to my family, "It's time for you all to get out of my house." My ten-year-old said, "It's our house, too." To which I replied, "Not during school hours it isn't!" This conversation was done in a very loving fashion. Truly.)

Because my house is now decorated for Christmas. I love Christmas trees and Christmas lights and Nativity scenes and snowmen and all the darling crafty things my friend, Angie, makes me because, let's face it, I am her service project.

Because it snowed today and I didn't have to go anywhere.

Because I don't have to think about cooking for another four weeks. (Christmas Eve, to be exact.)

I do not like to cook. I CAN cook. I DO cook, if only because my children just keep waking up every morning hungry again. But I do not like it. I do not enjoy baking. I do not enjoy roasting turkeys. I do not enjoy mashing potatoes. I do enjoy making my family happy and so, since there were no family dinners on offer this year, it was up to me to provide Thanksgiving. Eight days ago, as we talked about the Thanksgiving week ahead, we planned what we would do on Wednesday. Making pies. And pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. And everything else, since we had decided to have our dinner on Wednesday night. (Face it, we're rebels.) Every single child, from the 8th-grade cooking class boy to the kindergartener, said, "I want to help! I want to help!" My reply? "I'm so excited! This will be mom's favorite day ever! Spending all day in the kitchen with my four children helping me do everything!"

The sad part of this story? My 13-year-old said, without missing a beat, "You're being sarcastic."

Yes, I'm a bad, bad mom.

But I try. We did spend Wednesday in the kitchen. They did help make pumpkin pie and sweet potatoes and baste the turkey. I did not lose my temper. The food was yummy. Everyone enjoyed themselves.

I will never be Martha Stewart. I will never be my mother-in-law. My children won't learn from me how to make pie crust or french onion soup or anything more complicated than roasted turkey. My husband will never come home to a three-course meal kept fresh until the moment he walks in the door.

But they magically seem to love me anyway--unless they're all much better actors than I give them credit for.

And that's what I'm most grateful for today.

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