giving thanks…or not

by humanmama on November 29, 2006

At this moment my husband AND my baby are cuddled up on the couch sleeping for a nap. They are absolutely the most precious things in my life. It was a stark contrast to the feeling that this time of the year often stirs in people.

At this time, you hear, depression and suicide are the greatest. It’s not actually true, though–it’s the spring with the highest suicide rate (April, if you must know, http://www.suicidereferencelibrary.com/test4~id~530.php). But why do we hear that this is the time of the most suffering? Why do we tend to associate this time with stress, annoyance, rushing, and sadness?

Okay, I’m going to ask here that we reclaim the holidays. Take it away from the media, from the news reports, from the Paxil and Lunesta commercials. I’m going to say, hey, I like the holidays. I know, it’s going out on a limb. I’m not nuts about them. I don’t have framed photos of turkeys only to be displayed on Thanksgiving. But I do like them. I love the family togetherness of them, even if your family drives you nuts. I love the food and the warmth. It’s a good time.

I’m not saying I’ve never felt rushed or stressed about life, especially at this time of the year. But it’s remarkable how someone who’s not 27 inches long can make you reconsider your scroogey attitude.

Having a baby just makes you feel amazed at this time of year. I mean, it’s her first Thanksgiving! Her first taste of the holiday season. It’s the first time she’s seen cranberry sauce. It’s just incredible. Her focus is not on avoiding unpleasant conversation with family or taking candid photos of people eating–her DEAD focus is trained on the little stuffed animal doggie she likes to chew on when we put it across the room. She wiggles and scoots and makes it to the doggie, and celebrates this amazing accomplishment by sticking her tongue out at us while chewing on the ears, or the tag, or the tail of the doggie. Her grandma–her stepgrandma–bought her several non-destroyable bath books which she enjoys listening to should you read them, but she would rather chew on the corners. Her grandpa entertains her by turning her upside down. Her grandma (mommy’s mommy, we call her Mimi) showers her with kisses as she eats her rice cereal and banana mush. There are no awkward conversations, no problematic discussions. Just for a moment or two we are all in awe of this little person and of life in general. This little munchkin makes everyone forget the world and just enjoy her for a moment. And that is good.

So this Thanksgiving I have a little resolution–who needs New Year’s, anyways–for myself. Just to sit back and enjoy this time. I’m already folding and putting away little socks, little onsies, that are too small for my little baby–already able to say “ohh, remember when she was little??!” I know this time flies. And I’m determined to enjoy it. It won’t be your typical rush-and-stress time of year. This year really is different, and it’s because of our little baby, Helena, our Thanksgiving in the flesh.

Can I make it different forever? I don’t know–but I can try. I can try to remember to enjoy each little moment of each little day. Thanksgiving is over but I’m still thanks-ful. And heck, Christmas is at our house–be there or be square.

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