I am thankful that the woman who wrote “Mary Had A Little Lamb” also campaigned for decades to make Thanksgiving a national holiday. I am thankful that the man who wrote the Gettysburg Address also wrote the proclamation scheduling Thanksgiving for the final Thursday in November.
I am thankful to have a history of Thanksgivings that offer fond memories. The years spent pulling my chair beside my grandfather’s, where he’d chuck me under the chin and then giggle his way through dinner. The makeshift meals from my galley kitchen during law school. The long-lasting notoriety of my great-aunt’s squash recipe, which has now graced tables from Maine to Atlanta.
I am thankful for the health of my family. My mother-in-law is strong enough to travel on her own from Puerto Rico to join us. My parents have the energy to host a crowd spanning multiple generations. Cousins across the country post pictures of their festive gatherings.
I am thankful for our home. What it lacks in space, it makes up for in reliability. Built in the 1890s, it still keeps us warm, well lit, and covered. It gives my kids a short walk down the hall when they have a bad dream, our cat a set of stairs to thunder down, and my husband an endless supply of projects.
I am thankful for my husband. He is as loyal, hard-working, and funny as ever. He is working at containing the joy he takes in pushing buttons, asking questions, and demanding additional details, I just know it.
I am thankful for my children. They are the defining challenge of my life, and every day they make the challenge worth it. They are my greatest teachers, and two of the funniest people I know.
I am thankful for my favorite sense: a sense of humor. It helps in good times and in bad, in personal settings and in professional ones. It breaks the ice, bridges the gap, stems the tide.
I am thankful for my parents. They taught my sisters and me what a sense of humor looks like and sounds like. They taught us never to take ourselves too seriously.
I am thankful for my sisters. They are the versions of myself I will never be, but will always aspire to. They make me laugh every day, and they make me cry every time we have to say good-bye.
I am thankful for my brothers- and sisters-in-law. They put up with all of the above. They are the siblings nature didn’t deliver, but the law has graciously provided.
I am thankful for weddings. They are an excuse to dance, and the reason for extended family to come together. They are full of optimism and sentimentality and the corny kind of love we all need to witness sometimes.
I am thankful for my friends. They bring me out of my shell, and they help me feel OK when I want to be inside it. They make my backbone stronger, my smile bigger, and my perspective broader.
I am thankful for my job. It has introduced me to people I’m proud to know and a purpose I’m proud to share. It gives me confidence and teaches me humility.
I am thankful for our community. It is the collection of opposing views, selfless acts, common understandings, polite interactions, shared loves, and diverging interests that we share. It is the world we choose to enter every day.
I am thankful for the internet. It connects us where otherwise there would be distance, illuminates ideas that would otherwise be inaccessible, and means I rarely have to worry about my penmanship. It is at our disposal, but can be ignored as desired.
I am thankful for this column, and to each of you who has ever taken the time to read it. I have learned from the comment writer who labeled me a “useful idiot,” and the ones who have favorably quoted me. I have appreciated the opportunity to test my limitations.
I am thankful that I have so many things to be thankful for that there is no natural place to end this particular piece, other than word count.