I am finally adjusting to the fall and can’t believe that Thanksgiving is already here! Ever since I can remember, my family has always had two Thanksgiving celebrations. Poor Stewart – not just one celebration with the in-laws but two! The celebrations begin tonight with my family’s annual Pre-Thanksgiving dinner hosted by my dad and my step-mother, which is now held in the city and includes all 5 of us kids, our families, my two step-brothers, and their families. Then tomorrow, Thanksgiving afternoon, we go to my brother David’s house in New Jersey to celebrate with my mom’s side of the family. This is an even bigger celebration; besides the immediately family, extended family and all of their relatives join in -- around 40 people in all. On top of the two celebrations with my family, Stewart, Max, and I are then going to Stewart’s sister’s house (which is near my brother’s) in the early evening to celebrate with his immediate family: his parents, sister, brother, and their families. We consider ourselves very fortunate that our families live relatively close to us and very close to one another.
|Max gets a head start on the holiday|
As our first Thanksgiving dinner fast approaches, I have begun to ponder the other things that I am thankful for. Since becoming a parent I have definitely had my share of disastrous days. However, I am grateful that lately they have been seldom. This might be because I have learned from some of my mistakes. While practice might not make perfect, I have had more time at this thing called “parenting” to smooth over the rough edges. But more likely, this seeming improvement is due to the fact that my definition of what a “disastrous day” is has changed over the last few months. Many things can go wrong in a day parenting Max and the day can still be considered a good one. For example, any day that witnesses multiple massive spit-ups from my son can’t constitute a disastrous day, or every day would count as disastrous! Why can I look past his daily, multi-colored vomits on my best clothing? Mostly because I have entered an official love affair period with Max. As the books say, I am experiencing a tight bond with Max at this 6 month period because he finally gives me what I call the two R’s -- Reaction and Recognition. In short, he is all smiles these days, and that’s all I need.
Notice, however, that I said that disastrous days with Max have become “seldom” -- not non-existent. They do still exist to be sure. The last truly disastrous day that comes to mind occurred about a month ago. It was the first cold day of the fall, and somewhat unexpected at that. I had ventured out of the apartment to bring Max to “story time” for 0 -18 month-olds at a bookstore in an NYC neighborhood called Nolita. This was the first public kids event that Max and I were attending. We were both underdressed for the cold windy day. As I strolled Max to the “story time”, it seemed like every other baby we passed had on a winter hat, was in a muff and had a plastic shield drawn down on his or her stroller. I even saw kids wearing mittens! I called Stewart from the street and said we have to buy Max a muff, some booties, some mittens and a winter hat. We had received a muff as a gift, but since Max is a huge kid for his age, it was too small and we had to return it. And while we planned to buy Max a new, larger, one, we hadn’t yet since we never dreamed we’d have to use it as early as October!