Often at Thanksgiving it’s typical to take turns around the table and share your gratitude. We Gallaghers aren’t usually mushy or gushy at mealtimes.
At my parent’s for Thanksgiving we did the sharing around the table this year. We aren’t mushy or gushy as Tippers either, so I had no idea how mushy and gushy it would get. My heart was a little puddle at the bottom of my rib cage, it just melted by the end of it.
The day after Thanksgiving is always at my parent’s house. It was just my folks, my sister Leslie and the four of us. James went first with his sharing. His gratitude list was long and I was very glad that I was on it. I was surprised he didn’t mention my fabulous ability to be right all the time, but he did say I was a good mom. He didn’t mention my housekeeping abilities, which is good since he probably isn’t thankful for that since it’s not very good. And I’m not sure why he didn’t thank me for all the times I save him money with the shopping I do. When something is an extra 50% off, it’s like they are paying me to buy it.
Everyone had the usual list of thanks for good health, family, home, food, etc…
This was Owen’s turn:
“I’m thankful for this great country. I get freedoms in my country. I’m happy to be part of this family…(pause…then he locks eyes with me, tears well in his eyes) I’m thankful for my mom and I just love…
…he rubs his eyes because they are tearing up, he can’t even finish his sentence, he’s choking up. Then tears well in MY eyes. He chokes out, “I’m so happy…”
At this time, everyone at the table has tears rolling down their cheeks. Emma looks at me and mouths, “aww.” We had several minutes of wiping tears and trying to say how thankful we are but had a hard time speaking because we were so emotional. We dried our eyes and finished our sharing. Of course I gave him hugs and kisses and tried not to embarrass him. What I wanted to do was squeeze him and smother him and tell him he’s the best boy in the whole entire world, (no offense Emma, but he’s totally scoring) but that would’ve made him feel self conscious and would ruin the moment. So I played it cool and whispered in his ear how happy I am too.
Later when we were leaving at the end of the night, he said, “Mom, I have never had the happy cry before until tonight. Now I know what it is.”
I know the parent/child relationship isn’t always idyllic. Ten years from now he might crash the car and walk away unscathed, only for me to strangle him. Or maybe he’ll drop out of one of his college classes. Who knows. Times change.
But this Thanksgiving, I was the luckiest mom in the whole world, and for that, I am most grateful.