Friday, November 12, 2004

Making Thanks

Good morning. Up since 2:40 am. I lay in bed for a time, then moved to the chair, then came downstairs and opened emails. Now I am trying to think of something interesting to say.

Nope, it ain't happening.

I am still having waves of the Thanksgiving mood, mostly related to cooking.

Last year I went to great last minute lengths to achieve Max's ideal of Thanksgiving. We had, the day before, been in Sonora, Mexico, and after the 16+ hour drive home I thought it was reasonable to pass on the turkey holiday. Max woke up the morning of and was completely set on setting the holiday in to motion.

"Happy Thanksgiving!" He gleefully announced. Clearly he was not one of the drivers the day before. "We need to decorate and cook. It's Thanksgiving today."

His words and enthusiasm went straight to my Maternal-Love Deep Storage of Impossible Energy. I found an open store. I found an unfrozen turkey, and pie crust, and cranberry sauce, yams and organic apple juice. I baked pumpkin pies and chopped veggies, prepared dressing, set out candles and mashed potatoes with cream. It was a sweat/love effort of awesome proportions. Max came to the table, as the late afternoon sun cast rays of dappled sunlight across the leaf strewn yard, and he surveyed the feast set before him. My heart burst with gratitude and pride, and I thought how perfectly this moment had come together; the children would cherish this memory, this pinnacle of Thanksgiving wealth.

"None of this looks very good to eat. What's good for Max to eat?"
Max was not impressed, and as forthright and pragmatic as ever.

This year I asked him What makes Thanksgiving good? Yes, we know about being thankful, appreciating our toys and the hot water that runs from the tap in the house. I want to know what the heck the boy will eat, and be really stoked to see on the dining table.

Max dreams of a Thanksgiving feast of "Ramen Noodles." Alex thinks we should include barbecued ribs.

This Thanksgiving I will be thankful that we have so many choices and options. That we have the resources to satisfy our appetites and the time to enjoy all of our blessings. In the meantime, I am going back to bed, in hopes of falling asleep, and accumulating some more of that Impossible Energy.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Max is counting. He has discovered and embraced numbers, particularly those related to money. He counts his money daily, and it is a sizeable sum. He is ever ready to add to his stash by doing chores, behaving angelically or being in the right place at the right time. Yesterday, he announced that he was ready to count to 100, "Without even a single mistake." And he did it, twice. And then he continued to two hundred and he concluded that he could even count to 900, except it would mean moving his mouth a lot. He fell asleep under his rainbow, counting to two hundred. He multiplies as well, and contemplates fractions. He also made a book in which he stores his archery scores, "and other important numbers." He memorized our cell phone numbers, and now Geoff and I get calls from him. He calls from under his bed and says "Hello there. How are you?"

How are we? We are delighted. Our Max is growing, and doing it quite well.

William is pursuing his computer interests to even greater heights and depths. How can I elaborate? I can no longer follow the programming and software usage he has adapted. He likes Photoshop, and 3D Studio MAX. He and Geoff converse in the language of the Geeks, and with acronyms and codes. They toss phrases about and understand one another. Along with Alex's skill and creativity for game design, I can see these guys in the early stages of being a successful game company. Max will manage the books, and I will organize the annual Christmas party and company picnics.

Alex continues to pursue a life of balance. He enjoys his time outdoors, constructing huts from the long branches that drop from the eucalyptus trees, and mastering archery. He keeps his camping backpack well organized and prepared for any adventure. Inside, he does his school work diligently. He also cooks, reads, plays on the computer, designs robots and very kindly inquires about my condition. He is always available to help me up from a seat, bring me a pillow, unload groceries, help Max with his school, and more.

When the boys are together, watching a movie, running in the yard or making their robot designs and Lego creations, I am glad. I love to hear their laughter. I love to see their progress and development. And yes, they argue, and they know precisely how to be really irritating to one another. But there are far more hours in the day and days in the week when they are a joy to be with. I am feeling in a Thanksgiving mood, and I can't think of anything to be more thankful for than my family.