Thanksgiving has always been a big holiday in my family. My parents got married on Thanksgiving weekend, and my mother's parents also got married just a bit before Thanksgiving in 1939, which apparently was The Year With Two Thanksgivings, when Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving from the last Thursday of the month to the 4th to stimulate the economy, but some states continued with the traditional date.
It is funny to me that, in 2008 when we were actually in India over Thanksgiving, we didn't even really think about missing our big holiday -- our heads were too swamped with thinking about the huge decision we were making, and worrying about all the potential implications. After three of the most stressful days of our lives, we had left Mumbai to fly to a yoga center in Goa for some theoretical relaxation, but who could relax? Surrogacy in India was a big unknown; we were one of the first western clients of our clinic, and there was a lot of anxiety on our part about whether we were ready to be parents. In hindsight, so laughable, because we can't imagine life without our little Micah, but at the time, it required a lot of deliberation, up until the moment when it was too late to change our minds.
Of course, that Thanksgiving will be remembered around the world as "India's 9/11," the day of the Mumbai terrorist attack. Oblivious and off the grid, we didn't learn of the attacks until Friday, after both of our families spent their entire holiday worrying about us. Even after we came back, we didn't really get what all the fuss had been about, because we knew we were safely hundreds of miles from Mumbai.
Still, we came back from Mumbai with the greatest memento of all, and especially at Thanksgiving, we remember all that we have to be grateful for. This year, our family gatherings extended for an entire week as we celebrated my parents' golden anniversary and stored up as much time as we could with my sisters, one of whom is moving with her family half-way around the world for a few years. What a busy week we had!! A pizza party/family talent show on Monday, hosted my visiting sister's family for dinner on Tuesday, went out to a fancy restaurant with 5 children under the age of 8 on Wednesday, hosted Thanksgiving for 21 people on Thursday, family photos and an anniversary party for my parents on Friday, and a cousin's bar mitzvah on Sat! And on Sunday, we collapsed! Micah was a trouper throughout the week, and just loved being treated like a "big boy" with his 4 older cousins,. They were so cute together, especially how they all sat around Micah's train table for Thanksgiving dinner while the grown-ups dined in relative calm in a separate room. I miss having a baby, but at times like this, it is bliss having a (slightly) more self-sufficient little boy.
Micah's verbal skills seemed to really explode by spending the week with his cousins, and he's so excited that he can formulate questions better and explain what's on his mind. "Was dat" is still his favorite question, and now when he describes something, he can often use two adjectives and noun, and create more complicated sentences. My favorite recently was when he wheeled his play shopping cart in to show me, announcing: "look, my na-na (his favorite blanket) cover up my paci." All his favorite things in one sentence! My least favorite element of verbalization came during a quick trip to Target, where he was confused by a (female) employee's appearance and loudly shoulded "Was dat monkey-boy?" Oooh, the first of many times to have to cringe at your child's candid observations (we made sure to go up and introduce ourselves to the woman.)
He loves playing his "air guitar" (a stringless toy guitar) and will command us to "play band" with him, dragging other toy instruments in to wherever we're sitting and motioning to demonstrate how to play them. He loves ordering us where to sit, and whether we're allowed to sing or not. His energy is amazing, and he'll jump up and down for 30 minutes at a time while playing his air guitar and performing his special versions of The Wheels on the Bus, Twinkle Twinkle, 5 Little Ducks, and a few songs we don't recognize. Youtube is still his very special addiction; we don't ever let him watch TV but after only one lapse over the weekend, he walked into the living room the next day and demanded "watch TV!" Bad boob tube!
He still loves playing "catch me if you can" at bedtime, and getting him to lie down and go to sleep has become a ordeal of closing the door and holding it shut until we think he's asleep, followed by 30 minutes of him leaving his room only to be sternly shoo'd back in. It is hard because he's usually very proud of himself and cheerful when he re-appears from his bedroom, and I usually have to be the meanie who marches him back to bed.So much to be thankful for!