Unlike social media, life has no filter, and neither do little children.
This Thanksgiving was truly like no other…
This morning, the boys woke up early, and Little Man broke Wee Lad free from jail (aka Wee Lad‘s toddler-proofed bedroom) and snuck downstairs to help themselves to apple pie for breakfast.
A and I are both swamped with studies this year, so he told his parents ahead of time we wouldn’t be spending Thanksgiving with family or friends this year, and while I understand this, for we are short on time with two children and no daycare, it just didn’t feel like Thanksgiving, really.
So, we studied, with and despite lots of interruptions from the boys. I felt really discouraged though, when Wee Lad suddenly decided to say…. “Puck”. And I’m sure you all can guess exactly what word that is supposed to be… *sigh*
I did take a break from academic pursuits to help the little ones stick some Hallowe’en decals –that lovely Shauna sent our way (Merci!)— on the front door for a bit of autumnal cheer.
Then there was the matter of Thanksgiving dinner. We had no meat or fowl of any sort in the freezer, barely any vegetables besides two carrots, some onions and minced garlic, and definitely no potatoes. It wasn’t a day for grocery shopping either… last-minute holiday shopping crowds are no fun to be around!
After much rummaging around in the pantry, I found tucked away in a far corner, a little can of smoked oysters. “This is it,” I thought to myself dramatically. This was going to be the Thanksgiving when we had smoked oysters on crackers for dinner. After a dramatic beat, I realised that I didn’t want to be wallowing in self-pity, which is the very antithesis of gratitude, and that my childhood obsession with Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books was going to serve me in extremely good stead today. Firstly, because it made me realise that her family managed to be cheerful even if their holidays didn’t always include a bounteous feast. Secondly, because I knew I could try my hand at making oyster soup, and Thanksgiving dinner would be saved. It wouldn’t be conventional, but it would still be very special.
If you’re having a bit of a moment and raising your eyebrows at me, let this description speak for the brilliance that oyster soup is:
Well, A and I certainly enjoyed it. The recipe called for three tins, but we only had the one. I can only imagine how much more flavour those two extra tins would have given the soup overall, but I am not complaining. Not even about the fact that our boys sipped at it politely and then halfway through their bowls, begged for chicken noodle soup… which I did make for them.
I then made another apple pie while A got them both into bed, and now here we are, sitting companionably together, and studying, studying, studying. I am grateful my little family is Together.
Sometimes, I think the pressure is on to have the “right” sorts of food on the table, and the “perfect holiday activities”. Some years work out in those categories, and some years they just don’t, but I can certainly attest (or assert, as Academic Vampire –if you know, you know– would say) that the banquet is nice, but it is only the garnish on a day that is already brimful with love.
It has still been a memorable Thanksgiving, and I’m grateful for that, really. Pucks and all.