Thanksgiving is always interesting at the Larson household. It’s become significantly less interesting with G-diddy’s passing – now there’s no one to prompt tears by asking, “why aren’t you married yet?”, no one to remind us what the “Ur of Chaldees” means, no one to explain the value of unions, Bill Clinton, and Israel. And no one’s sitting at the edge of the table doling out dollar bills for scripture memorization anymore.
But still, there’s mom.
Before our 15 guests even arrived at 1pm, mom, who true to form didn’t sleep all night cooking, baking, and even slipping in a workout, was already prompting controversy by explaining to the rest of us why Rupert Murdoch is so amazing on Twitter: “Well, I do think Obama should tell his friends in Egypt to stop bombing Israel.”
And it begins….
Dad “bucked the star” grabbing us Thanksgiving lattes, which apparently mom & Esther didn’t need since they got up early to exercise. Because they want us all to know that they’re better than the rest of us.
As Essie arranged the flowers, put up the golden candles, and I set the table, we watched the Macy’s Day Parade on NBC until dad decided he’d rather go for “Line of Fire” – adding a little Mafia shoot out ambiance for Thanksgiving day.
Dad then spent the remainder of the day reading aloud the football scores off his iPhone which he checked intermittently when bored with the dinner conversation. Because Leslie is super interested in the fact that the Texans are beating the Lions or whatever dad just said.
This year we had a friend from Perth, Australia . A married couple from London who’d never celebrated Thanksgiving before – and brought their little ball of energy Kezia. Who sat on Leslie’s lap. Crawled into our bed. Fell head over heels for freshman in high school Jason. Named a little bunny puppet “Abby”. And can say “education” and “cracker” pretty convincingly.
Over squash, cranberry delight, potatoes, turkey, stuffing, muffins, and salad, we discussed libertarians, Obamacare, and Ashley’s mom’s fashion shoot. Dalilah explained the merits of Anthropologie sales and 2 friends from The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services helped us revise the Larson Preparedness Plan – less Sun Chips more solar powered devices.
We watched the Dallas Cowboys Halftime (Salvation Army Red Kettle Kickoff) which prompted Leslie to claim Kenny Chesney as “her guy” and Esther, yes that’s right Esther, to start singing along?!? It’s still unclear as to how Esther quite knows the song at all. Maybe the FBI, when done with Petraeus, can hack into her secret iPod “Guess what guys – I actually do like country music” playlist.
Best of all, we sat around the table and said what we’re thankful for. Jayne (a college student) praised her mother’s cooking after tasting college cafeteria grub. Big bro Wall is thankful for a hot shower post-Sandy. Es is thankful for health, Les for her new job, and many of us for His provision of new friends, involvements, and opportunities.
There were no tears this year, no major political discussions (okay, maybe on the side), but many thankful hearts.
Because this year especially we see what God’s spared us from – the hurricanes He’s prevented, the sickness He’s kept away, the bad relationships He’s shielded us from, the bad stuff we can’t even quite fathom.
And for the bad stuff He allowed to happen in 2012, we can be thankful for how He’s used that stuff to make us better people – more humble, more patient, more sensitive, more giving, more malleable in His hands.
Over all, we can trust in the words of Joshua 1:9 that “the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” In the goods times and bad times of 2013, He’ll be there. He never checks out, runs away, or gives up on us.
And that is truly something to be thankful for.