Me: "Who has the best seat in the house, me or daddy?"

Adam: "Well, Daddy's is nice, but yours is best. Your's is squishier."

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Giving Thanks

How does one deal with social eating and food sensitivity, especially at the holidays?
You go to Melissa's house, that's how.

Let me take you back 11 years.
It was the day before Thanksgiving, and as the dawn's blue light began to creep through the kitchen windows, I held my sweet new baby Adam in my arms, just minutes old.  And Melissa was there.
  The next day, knowing that we would not be going anywhere for Thanksgiving, Melissa said she would "bring over a couple of plates of food".  Later she dropped by with rolls all ready to go in the oven -our oven- not because she didn't have room in hers, but because she wanted out little apartment to be filled with the aromas of the holiday.  When she came later with food, it wasn't just a pair of plates with dinner on them, it was a plateful of each of the items she had prepared that busy day, and all this after staying up all night helping me with labor.  One of the most tender memories I have in my vault is that of offering that Thanksgiving prayer with tears streaming down my cheeks, grateful to my core for all of my blessings, including my friend Melissa.

This year happened to be one where Adam's birthday fell on the day before Thanksgiving again.  We did the regular birthday hoopla, and spent the rest of the day cooking together.  Melissa worked like a mad woman to prepare food that I would be able to enjoy.  There were yams made with caramelized coconut milk, mashed potatoes with rice milk, and even a separate little 9 lb turkey with no dressing or butter on it, just for me.  Whatever recipes could not affordably be made for everyone were duplicated in miniature scale just for me, but made with allergy free substitutions.  I even got to have gravy.  And let's face it, that's the only reason to even celebrate.  It's all about the gravy.

 (The proverbial "Kid's Table")
The whole meal was so wonderful, and I felt normal for the first time in weeks, perhaps months.  The apple pie was a bit of a flop... -some substitutions just don't cut it- but the coconut custard I made was de-lish.  Recipes will be posted, as I, unlike my husband, do not believe my soul will be stolen if I share my recipes. 
I am reflecting now on the gratitude I have in my heart for my many, many blessings.  I have been so abundantly blessed with kind and loving friends.  I love my children, even on days when they are monsters, which -lucky for me- is only on the days when the earth is in orbit around the sun.  I have a hubby who loves me, even though I am totally neurotic, and I am so humbly blessed that Jonah is here.  The realization that he is here washes over me eight times a day; he made it, we all got through it, and by some true miracle this little child is in our lives.  I guess after that final miscarriage I had allowed myself to imagine a life without that last little soul, but now my brain can't even fathom it.
I believe in miracles, because I believe in a loving Heavenly Father who desires that his children have what they most need in this life, even if sometimes what they most need comes disguised as a trial.
Yes, I believe in miracles.  In fact, I have come to expect them.

(And for dessert, a bundle-o-baby that weighed twice as much as my turkey.  Nibble nibble, yum yum.)

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