And yet, America is so full of contradictions! For even as our extended family sits down to eat our Thanksgiving dinner, there are many in our neighborhood who are now facing foreclosure and with barely anything to be cheerful about this year. These are hard times and its difficult to reconcile my mother’s story with some of the things I’ve seen and experienced. Over the years, it has also been difficult to celebrate this holiday because I came to America as an adult and I did not grow up with the mythology surrounding Thanksgiving.
But I’ve learned and I have my children to thank for this. There is a saying, “There are no atheists in foxholes,” or as David Foster Wallace once said, “There is no such thing as not worshipping.” My version would be, “Parenting makes you a believer.” It takes a lot of faith to be a parent—trusting that despite everything and as long as they don’t do something crazy that everything will be all right. It’s the crazy part that keeps me up at night.
Over the years, however, my children have taught me how to celebrate this season of giving thanks and though I was slow to get into it (like the other celebrations such as Halloween—pirate, indeed!), they have taught me that this holiday is about family—sharing a meal, breaking bread with those whom we love and cherish and who in return love and cherish us. Come what may. Come what may.
Enjoy yourselves and each other.
Happy Thanksgiving, y’all & see you next week. I’m on holiday.