It was my little kids’ turn to break the wishbone this Thanksgiving. (In Canada, our Thanksgiving happens in mid October.) This is a big event around here. With typically only two turkeys eaten in a year, the turkey wishbone is a coveted item. Last time it was the big boys turn to battle it out with their pinkies. The little ones only recently became players in the wishbone game, as their tiny fingers weren’t quite up to the task until just this past year. And our youngest couldn’t be trusted to wait until the go signal before she pulled!
On the count of three, the kids flexed their mini finger muscles and we had a winner! My five-year old son held the magic part of the bone. He grinned. My daughter looked sad. And maybe slightly angry. At least significantly peeved. This was her second wishbone loss. This is tough stuff when you are three.
My little guy looked at her, then closed his eyes to make his wish. I expected him to say something like “I wish we could fly in a spaceship up to space after lunch,” or “I wish I could grow real finger spikes like Wolverine”.
Here is what he said:
“I wish to give my wish to Zoe. And then I wish that her fingers get really strong so that she can win next time.”
Zoe looked up from the tops of her sock feet. Her furrowed brow relaxed and her eyes softened. In an instant she went from looking like a vengeful she-monster to a sweet little angel. (Perhaps these rapid transformations in mood and demeanor should concern me?! ) He opened his eyes and looked at her. She reached out and put her arms around him and put her head on his shoulder. He smiled the sweetest and most earnest smile you could ever imagine and hugged her back. How amazing is that? Can your heart melt and swell all at the same time?
Oh yes it can!
This Thanksgiving, I am so totally grateful for our sometimes crazy, often loud, always energetic and also clearly, incredibly loving and generous children. They are my most precious gifts.
As I sit and contemplate the last couple of hours of my thirty-ninth year, I can’t help but feel combination of mild amusement, and an indulgent dose of self pity. I am 38 weeks pregnant, have conjunctivitis, an ear infection, and a sore throat. Translation; I can’t put on shoes without getting dizzy, have hearing loss in one ear, am wearing sunglasses in the house, and am craving jello and clear fluids. Apparently 40 is the new 80. To add insult to injury, I have been cleaning up puke and other unpleasant bodily fluids from my two youngest children since 4 this morning.
It is now 10 pm, and thankfully, the children are sleeping soundly. I finally have a moment to sit on my couch and put my feet up. I look over at my gorgeous husband, who has just done a late night run to the shops for diapers and Dolce de Leche Haggen Daaz, and who, despite my septic appearance, still somehow thinks I am worth hanging out with. I lament that spending the eve of my 40th birthday up to my elbows in vomit and so pregnant I can barely catch my breath, is a far cry from the romantic storm watching excursion on the West Coast I had envisioned for this epic milestone. Isn’t it ironic that although I couldn’t have planned a less optimal birthday situation if I had tried, I still feel a kind of contentment that no amount of perfect event planning could ever provide?
I think of my little Oliver’s big earnest eyes begging me to stop the throw ups from coming; my sweet little firecracker Zoe stroking my cheek saying “My lub you Mommy”; my brown eyed, soft-hearted Jacob affectionately saying good night to his little sick siblings; and my sweet Liam, all legs and front teeth, wrapping his arms around my round belly for a goodnight hug. I know that this is my bliss.
I see my big, patient brindle dog who though he knows is not getting a walk tonight, still loves me anyway; my tireless husband, just back from a hockey bingo so exhausted that he falls asleep on the couch literally 5 minutes after he collapses into it; and my comfy home which envelopes me in its warmth. I know without a doubt, that I am living my happily ever after.
There is no better way to spend a birthday than that.