For donuts at the library for the third time this week, where there’s always a yoga class or story time or just one more book we need to get before we can leave.
For another Thanksgiving sober, instead of one like years ago where I fell off the train drunk as my parents arrived to pick me up, hiding booze in their home and sneaking off to take sips thinking I was being so sneaky. There has never been such misery.
For this husband who takes us to Hackney’s for a light meal of fried onion rings and ice cream pie the night before Thanksgiving and makes up silly songs along with our kids and they get the jokes and I get him.
For all the Hallmark Christmas movies, no sarcasm. For we need a little Christmas right this very minute.
For the surprise egg shows they dream up, plan meticulously, and then carry out all on their own – but I get to watch.
For PBS Kids, Disney Jr. and Nick Jr., I know I will miss the sounds and the sweet, simple messages when they grow out of them.
For my parents, who raised me with such conviction and compassion, without preaching to me about what to believe, but just leading by example and showing me the way to carry on with my own children. If you want to really appreciate your parents, just have your own children.
For family far and near who love our kids hard. Who welcome us with open arms and give and give and give.
For taking three days off this week and working like crazy anyway.
For food as a coping mechanism.
For laughter as medicine. But also – real scientific modern medicine.
For friends who don’t believe me when I say I’m fine.
For those willing to be vulnerable and have the really tough conversations, even knowing they may never be resolved.
For those willing to just be quiet.
For those who don’t try to fix everything.
For online communities that keep me sane and laughing and healthy every single day.
For this city. This terrible, corrupt, overpriced, gloriously beautiful and friendly city. I see the goodness in you every day, Chicago. Though people try to spread rumors about how awful you are, I’ll keep defending you forever.
For e-cigarettes when I really need them.
For bathrooms to cry in.
For cats and dogs as my favorite people in a room full of humans.
For kids who’ve decided – for now, as they are free to change their mind anytime – that they don’t want to eat animals (including turkeys) and that they have me as a parent supporting their decision.
For my fatness.
For my weakness.
For my strength.
For this body. THIS EXACT BODY.
For my kick ass hair.
For spandex in jeans.
For a clear head.
For my rationality in the midst of true chaos and for my panic in the midst of everyday ordinary things.
For music and lyrics that make my eyes water and my voice crescendo.
For pain so deep, I don’t ever believe I’ll survive and yet I wish everyone could feel it just so they know what it feels like to come back to yourself.
For words people write that make me want to scream, “I WANT TO WRITE LIKE THAT.”
For second and third and fourth chances.
For school pictures and parent-teacher conferences and that beautiful progression of childhood.
For the illusion of safety.
For joy so big, the entire sky can’t contain your heart.
For that stupid hope you continue to reach for, even though it keeps kicking you in the teeth.
For hugs that truly wipe away horrible days.
For I’m sorry.
For I love you too.
For “you are funny smart clever kind brave and cute” every night at bedtime.
For these kids believing their worth and knowing that their bodies are their own and they are in charge of them, no matter who they encounter. They don’t ever have to hug anybody they don’t want to. And neither do I.
For the men and white and cis people wanting to do and be better.
For a kid knowing they can come get in bed with us when they’ve had a bad dream.
For hand turkeys.
For not having to drink today. For not having to drink tomorrow.
For all this I am thankful – but mostly for pie. Did I mention the pie? Bed pie in particular.
Happy Thanksgiving. I am so thankful for you.