I had to sit for a few minutes to remember my first Thanksgiving as a new parent. Once I did, oh boy, the memories really flooded me. I have always longed for the formal gathering of extended family; the long table decorated with an overflowing cornucopia, sparkling cider in champagne flutes, steaming platters and bowls being passed between distant cousins. Our family holidays are usually more scarcely attended but not any less warm and loving.
My son was born in the beginning of November 2011. The birth wasn't what we were anticipating (is it ever?) and we ended up with a longer than expected hospital stay. The afternoon we returned home with our five day old baby, my partner had to return to work in another state for two weeks. So having him home for Thanksgiving made the occasion seem more special. We were many things in those first few months; tired, full of joy, scared of doing it all wrong, starry-eyed, and thankful - completely thankful for this little baby. As I look back on the two of us, still learning about our new son, and ourselves as completely transformed humans, I am sending a little note of "thanks".
Here are three things I am grateful to those new parents for, these four years later:
1. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SENSE OF HUMOR:
It has come and gone and come again over these past few years, but the laughter over burnt lobster stuffing and adventures in infant potty learning have certainly made it more interesting.
2. THANK YOU FOR CONSTANTLY SEEKING:
There was a lot of advice given and many stories shared. Thank you for always searching for your own path and learning what worked for you as a family. Your children are stronger and brighter for it.
3. THANK YOU FOR FINDING COMMUNITY:
It was out of your comfort zone, but you took that newborn class when your son was two months old. You met others who were in the storm with you. They helped you see the calmer waters on the other side. You pulled each other into the life boat and sailed on. You formed a community; mothers, fathers and friends.
Wishing all you Maine families a warm and joyful Thanksgiving!