It’s lightly snowing in Middlebury as I write this, and our house is firmly in advent-pointed-towards-Christmas mode. But only a week ago, our family was giving thanks. For so many things. Obviously there was the feast, featuring an enormous turkey from just down the road at Stonewood Farm. We’re STILL eating the leftovers!
Joining us for Thanksgiving dinner were Nana and Boom. The feast marked a celebration of sorts, as their Gilligan’s Island-like visit (the 3-hour tour that became much more!) came to an end. You might recall that Nana and Boom had journeyed to Vermont in late October for a 1-week visit. After Boom broke 4 ribs and 2 vertebrae falling off a ladder in our yard, their visit stretched to 5 weeks. We loved having them here and were sorry to see them go, but we’re happy to report that they’re now safely back at their home in Virginia!
Lately we’ve also been feeling randomly thankful for our three girls. And I want to give particular attention to the fact that we do have THREE girls; poor Georgia gets pretty short shrift in these posts. It’s funny: when you have your first baby, everything they do is endlessly fascinating and gets documented by the second; when it comes to #3 (at least in our family), they’re the least interesting member of the family because you’ve already seen their tricks twice over. But we do love Georgia — everybody loves Georgia. She is happy, adorable, and doing a great job of being a 9-month-old (babbling, working on walking, eating solid food). And our girls seem to be having increasing fun being sisters, which is endlessly joyful to see. They’re starting to have a great deal of fun together, as evidenced by the following pictures.
These are very small, specific things that I’m feeling thankful for today. It’s easy to feel grateful and warm and cozy, and lose sight of the fact that we’re often thankful for the things we DON’T have to deal with…but other people do. For instance, yesterday was World AIDS Day. Erick was asked to give a talk at Middlebury College about his research, which deals with the economics of HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa. So I’m awfully thankful that I’m not in the position of having to engage in potentially fatal sexual behavior to feed my kids. But how can I – we – move from being thankful to dealing with the things I’ve been fortunate to avoid? That’s where my brain is headed this time of year, and I’m writing it here to keep myself honest, because I want our family to be engaged in random acts of giving this Christmas. One of my favorite “anti-Christmas carols” has become Jackson Browne’s “The Rebel Jesus,” and I try to have its spirit inform the way we celebrate Christmas in our house. If you have a minute, it’s worth a listen, just click here. I’ll report back on what we came up with this Christmas season!