I realize it’s more than a little bit trite to talk about being thankful on (American) Thanksgiving. But I can’t help it…
I just re-read my Thanksgiving entry from last year. It’s funny because what I remember when I think about Thanksgiving 2008 is how tremendously upset I was that Ravi was sick and Elanor and I were alone in the hospital. What I only vaguely remembered was that it was Thanksgiving when the team unhooked Elanor from the last of her tubes. She still had a central line that was hep-locked (a closed iv connection, basically) but it was the first time since she was seven days old that I was able to hold her without a million tubes tethering her to a two/three foot range from her crib. After re-reading the entry I remember carrying her down the hall of the 0-5 pedi floor, describing all the marine life painted on the walls…and her sleeping through the momentous trip. I remember dressing her in her silly little “first thanksgiving” outfit–originally I had bought a 0-3 month size, but she was so tiny I had to take it back and exchange it for a newborn size.
Last year I wrote the day after Thanksgiving…
I had meant to do the “Thankful” thing yesterday, but I don’t think anyone here would be hard pressed to guess what we are thankful for. We came so close to losing our little girl (when I came to the emergency room, they had to wheel me past the pediatric ER and the Acute ER, the latter of the two being where we witnessed the really scary stuff and it was hard not to burst into tears because I couldn’t stop the flood of memories from that room) and we are just so lucky that she is a fighter. She is healthy, happy, smart, and in our eyes (just like every baby is in their parent’s eyes) just perfect.
We’re also thankful for all of you. Your support over the past three weeks has been invaluable and we’re lucky to have you as our friends and family.
This year’s Thanksgiving was very different. We are all healthy (although my back is starting to bother me a great deal again…I need to make time to do Physical Therapy), and we were nowhere near a hospital. We spent today at my in-laws home with Ravi’s aunt and uncle, two cousins and their families. Elanor had two cousins (one 18 months, the other 6 years) to play with. Out of respect for their parent’s wish that they not be named/shown online, I won’t be adding a picture.
I will give you a visual though…all three kids playing together. The six year old hugs Elanor, and the 18 month old (not wanting to be left out) goes over and hugs too. Five minutes later, the 18 month old has a toy and Elanor steals it. A few hours later, the 18 month old offers E a book and then grabs it back. Elanor running after her oldest cousin, whom she already clearly adores. The 6 years old pulling E onto her lap and helping her ride down the slide. I’m sure it was a fairly surreal experience for Ravi’s mom and dad and aunt and uncle. They lived near each other when Ravi and his cousins were young, and they grew up doing Thanksgiving together. This was the first big family Thanksgiving in about 15 years, and they got to watch their children’s children playing together.
Watching the family together, it made me grateful. I grew up as an only child, and we weren’t particularly close to any of my cousins, so Thanksgiving was generally a small affair. By the time I reached adulthood and it was just three of us, Thanksgiving was a super small event. Since our wedding, we have tried to do an event where my parents and my inlaws come together, but it has proven to be disastrous (which is a shame, but it is what it is). I grew up reading stories and wishing I had a big crazy family. Today (well, this whole week) I got that experience. It was so wonderful to have our family come together from both coasts and be with each other.
So I am grateful for my family; the one I was born into, the one I married into, and the one I helped create. I am profoundly grateful for the team of doctor and nurses and specialists who have been with Elanor every step of the way. I am grateful to the point of tears that my daughter has grown into a healthy and happy toddler, and while her strong will tests my patience, I also am thankful for it as it helped save her life. I’m thankful for a husband who is supportive and loving, and who doesn’t make me hide my crazy parts. I have friends who are like family.
Being facetious, I am also thankful for Tivo, GLEE, trashy novels, and peanut butter cups 🙂