Preparing for Thanksgiving

Matt and Amy are hosting Thanksgiving again this year. We’ll have four little ones, so mac and cheese is on the menu in addition to the traditional turkey and sides. Else is more adventuresome about trying some of the new things that will be on offer. Archie is a mac and cheese and peanut butter and jelly man all the way. He is mostly unmoved by the argument that you have to try something before you can say you don’t like it. He can take one look at a beautifully carved slice of turkey and know instantly this is not something normal people were intended to eat.

Ben’s dad and his wife will be here from the East Coast — Ben’s mother died some while ago — and it will be my first time meeting them. The rest will be a mix of the shared friends Matt and Sara have from living here in Seattle and moving in and out of each other’s lives. Matt and Amy have a big dining room, and we all manage to fit around the same table.

I’ve been so down about the election, it’s a real spiritual discipline this year to focus on what I’m grateful for. Health, of course. Family who care about each other. Family financial stability. The chance to make my annual trip to Panama. Being able to write my blog every day. Having the memoir out. Being able to spend time with friends, both here in Seattle and in other parts of the country. Being able to ferret out new opportunities that keep me intellectually stimulated.

All good things, and they are a great deal more than many Americans have. But I’ve never thought the world is just about me, or that the measure of a good life is what I can lay my hands on. Life is about to get much, much harder for the poor, for women seeking reproductive care, for people outside the Make America White Again rallying cry of the administration just elected.

I do give thanks for what I have, and I struggle to remain hopeful, and when I sit around our Thanksgiving table I will think more broadly of the blessings that should be available to all.

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