Thanksgiving was always one of my favourite holidays when I was growing up – usually because it meant two days off school and getting together with extended family. As an American living abroad, it has been a lot more difficult to celebrate Thanksgiving. In the UK, I did make Thanksgiving dinner once or twice or managed to bake (or buy) some pumpkin pie to mark the day – but it wasn’t the same since it was an ordinary working day. Here in Australia, it is just too hot to even contemplate roasting turkey and mashing potatoes – let alone eating it. And my plans to make something pumpkin (maybe a nice, cool cheesecake?) were railroaded by the fact Vegemite’s school Christmas programme is tonight. So, although we will be together as a family, it will be a sausage sizzle and Christmas carols…
Still, as an adult, I appreciate Thanksgiving more as an opportunity to reflect back on the year and be thankful for what we have.
And really, there is so much to be thankful for. I could write a long list of things: the amazing team of therapists working with Lil Z, the fact both girls have had a great year at school, how happy our puppy Ben has made us all, the brilliant experience we’ve had with two top-notch au pairs, and QB’s dedication to doing the laundry (see honey, I do appreciate that!) – to name a few.
However, right now, today, on Thanksgiving Day, there is one thing that I’m thankful for above all others: that despite their differences, my girls love each other. This morning, Vegemite climbed into bed with Lil Z and they snuggled and rolled. I helped Z to tickle Vegemite’s face and then she rubbed her face in her sister’s hair. Vegemite read Z a book – Goodnight Sweet Butterflies – trying to figure out Z’s favourite colour (each page is a different colour). We had a laugh when Anya read “sweet dragons” instead of “sweet dreams” and Z kicked the book in protest. Then the girls cuddled some more before I had to get them up and dressed so Vegemite could go to school. In the car on the way to school, Vegemite declared that as much as she loved her school friends, Lil Z would always be her best friend.
So, today I am thankful that although Vegemite and Lil Z don’t have the type of sibling relationship I originally envisioned, their relationship is still full of laughs, cuddles and love.