I was a new mother, trying to do everything by the book. My sisters-in-law, all three of them, were knee deep in motherhood with elementary aged school children. They had long since figured out how durable the wee ones really are. Our perspectives met head on that fateful Thanksgiving. As we gathered in their mother’s dining room with our respective broods, my in-laws announced that as the youngest member of the clan, it was my daughter Jessica Ann’s turn to pose for the traditional picture gnawing on the turkey leg. Let it be noted that my little darlin was six months old and barely eating table food. I looked towards my husband with a “Do you really think I’m going to go for this” look on my face. Phil the Traitor, love of my life, sided with his family! It’s not like she was actually going to eat it, or gum it, as it were. I wavered, torn between wanting to retain the good will of the holiday gathering or taking a Custer’s last stand posture right then, right there.
It’s not like I wasn’t finding it challenging enough to merge our families and accept the rotating holiday idea. A good part of my heart was with my own parents and siblings gathered around the table in my childhood home. And now this, these people wanted me to give my baby a five pound turkey leg? (Granted, that’s a slight exaggeration, but it really did look that big when they plopped it down on her highchair!)
In the end, I yielded. Jessica gnawed on the turkey leg as best she could and the girls got their traditional turkey picture — without any lasting damage to either of us, at which point I added my own sincere thanks to the blessing that had already been given.
It wouldn’t be long before the humor of that Thanksgiving story would eclipse the anxiety of my first big go-along-to-get-along family crisis and become a memory our extended group loves to share. Today, the recounting of it makes me smile and wish with all my heart that I could locate that old Polaroid snapshot to add to this blog post!
Wherever we gather this Thanksgiving, dear readers, may we be aware that the moments will all be memories soon enough. Let’s hold them dear, each and every one, and give thanks to our benevolent God from whom all blessings flow.
Here’s one of our favorite Thanksgiving recipes. My mother’s good friend was the first to serve me this pie, hence it’s name. It’s graced our Thanksgiving dessert table a dozen times since!
“Mrs. Wanda’s Chocolate Chip Pie”
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 stick margarine, melted
2 eggs, well beated
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cups chopped pecans (or macdamia nuts– YUM!)
1/2 cup coconut (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ready-made piecrust
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend sugar, flour, margarine, and eggs. Stir in chocolate chips, pecans, coconut, and vanilla. Pour into piecrust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. YUM!