Another Thanksgiving Column. (It's Groundhog's Day, only with Turkey.)

(This was one of my earliest columns.  I read it this morning and laughed all over again.  I hope you do the same.  I am in the midst of crazy divorce stuff, need some laughs and could use some positive thoughts.  Send 'em quick, people.  Send 'em quick.) 

Every month after I finish my column I breathe a deep sigh of relief. Whew!  Then each month, I panic!  “What can I possibly write about next month?  I’ll never think of anything!   I’m doomed. “  It’s the same routine every month.

But, as Ray Barrone so eloquently put it at his brother Robert’s wedding, sometimes material just presents itself.  (Remember when Marie Barrone stopped the wedding? I cracked up!) Well, what better way to end up with material in your lap, than Thanksgiving time?  This month, as we all know, Thanksgiving comes early, which works out perfectly for me considering my deadline is right smack in the middle of the month.   In kindergarten, we’ve started singing turkey songs, made turkey headbands, disguised our turkeys, colored our turkeys, and have even made turkeys out of apples.  (Note to self- don’t give pointy toothpicks to 5 and 6 year old boys.  Bad things happen.) 

As we journey into this land of thankfulness, we have many discussions about why we celebrate this holiday.   I asked the class what Thanksgiving was, and I got a variety of answers.  Some said it was day where we thanked people, but most said it was a holiday about eating.  Now, for some of us (okay, me) every day is a holiday about eating.  There is definitely something to celebrate every day, right?  I personally like to celebrate the fact that I made it through another day.  Anyone with teenagers knows what I’m talking about.

Back to the Thanksgiving discussion- I proceeded to explain to the children why we eat on Thanksgiving.  I got to the part where I told them that the pilgrims came across the ocean on the Mayflower and landed in our country, and at this point one young fella (the unfortunate guy who was absent when the Nittany Lion made the surprise visit to our classroom) piped up with a loud moan.  “Aw, man!!! I always miss the good stuff!  I was at my nona and poppie’s all weekend.”  He felt better when I explained that this happened a long, long time ago.  After a lengthy and confusing discussion, we talked about what we were thankful for.  I told them some of the things I was thankful for, hoping to be a good example, and this is what they told me,

·      I am thankful for my sister Heather’s kitty Pepper.  I love her!
·      I am thankful for my dog.  He’s dead now.  But, I am thankful for him.
·      I don’t really know, but there is something stuck on my shoe.
·      I am thankful for my Illinois Jersey
·      I am thankful for my fish.
·      I am thankful for my family.  (YEAH!)
·      I am thankful for macaroni and cheese.
·      I am thankful for toys.
·      I am thankful my mom borned me. 
·      I’m thankful for tissues. (So is the teacher.)

Some days it is hard to conjure up things that I am thankful for.  There are many days when things just don’t go right.  The bills are due, someone needs lunch money, it’s time for new winter coats (Why do kids have to grow?), that winter sport is not free, they need new shoes, haircuts, and the car battery is really, really dead.  On top of that, the dog needs to go to the vet, grandma’s birthday is next week, the laptop died, Schlow library needs to be paid for that missing book, someone is screaming for money, and we could use a few groceries. 

But then, when the hectic day is coming to an end, I sit back and relax.  I think I can come up with one or two things I am thankful for.  My children are healthy, fairly happy, and safe asleep in their beds right now. (The best time of day, don’t you think?)  My parents might be gone, but I have a wonderful brother and sister that I am truly thankful for.   I have great friends and co-workers who graciously carried my family through two tragic losses last year.  (You know that social fund to which we all contribute each year to ensure that flowers and cards are sent to colleagues when needed?  Well, it is not a good sign when you end up with all the cards and flowers.)  I have a wonderful class this year, as always, with children who are caring, loving, and very, very funny.

Yeah, I’m thankful.  When everyone’s in bed, the house is quiet and the day is done, you’re damn right I’m thankful. 


Brian Miller said...

smiles...so you had a good thanksgiving VM?

Gigi said...

Gotta love kindergartners - always they will give you smiles.

Lots and lots of hugs, good thoughts, prayers and whatever else you need.

Suzy said...

When I blogged for Uproarious, I had to have a new column twice a week. A WEEK. Once a month ain't no thang.

jessica said...

I am thankful for your blog:) I like to come here and laugh and feel like i'm not alone in the teaching world. i have a new happy life now but i do have a terrible ex/divorce story behind me(although i don't think it's ever over, just easier) and i can tell you that YOU are not alone. there is a book for exes, they all read it and adhere to it like nothing before. I have never actually seen the book but I do believe it is called The Asshole's Guide To Being An Even Bigger Asshole- or something like that. Perfectly nice men turn and men who weren't so nice, well, get worse if that's possible.
Rules to live by:
Never badmouth your ex to your kids, NEVER
Never make snide remarks about your ex to your kids
Never stop trying to contact your kids
Always send a card
Always put money in the card

If you do these things, they will come back to you (or at least know that you never gave up and always love them no matter what).

Vodka Mom said...

jessica- i love you.

So. Cal. Gal said...

Funny...this is the 2nd blog in a row that talks about mac & cheese. lol!

I've had a rough 2 years (health) but I am eternally grateful for my mom, who helped me through it (with just a little complaining when I got all cranky and stuff).

Anonymous said...

My caring thoughts are sent to you each day I visit here, VM.

I rely on my mantra's like "nothing is forever" and "keep it small" (try not to escalate the situation) when things are tough. And of course, let friends be the support you need.

My positive energy is already on its way to you!

Vodka Mom said...

the advice is so so so appreciated. I take it all to heart and feel the love.

keep it small, indeed.

gd said...

VM, you do so much good in this world as a mom, teacher, and friend. Keep your chin up!

This gets me through many trying times:

This, too, shall pass

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Sending you good juju in dealing with this trying time of your life. You will get through this.

Pseudo said...

I am very grateful that you have been cracking me up and reminding me why I went into teaching in the first place...for a few years now.

Sorry about the crazy divorce stuff. A friend gave me advice about the unbloggable awhile ago...

"Sometimes those huge shifts seem endless and are so rough, but just hold on tight and know that when you get to the other side it will be worth it."

steph said...

I am thankful for your writing. May God bless and keep you and your precious family.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Chin up and press on. We're here for you cheering you on.
xoxoxo jj

Anna Whiston-Donaldson said...

love you, vodka mom! sending very good thoughts to you right now. xo

Ivanhoe said...

One day at the time! Thinking of you and sending you lots of love all the way from Ohio! xoxo

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