Thankful

Thanksgiving week was too busy to blog, but I want to pause and take a moment to reflect on how thankful I am for our community, our families, our friends.  We are incredibly, incredibly lucky.  I am especially thankful that Jesse got to spend time with so many people who are so dear to me over the holiday. Here are some of the moments from our recent trip for which I am most thankful:

A hike on a gorgeous, perfect fall day, in a beautiful natural setting, my father-in-law having the energy to play with Jesse, Jesse hanging out with his third cousins, hanging out with more cousins, including one who was totally uninterested in the newborn last year, but seemed charmed by the toddler this year, seeing the cousin I tried to teach how to read (when he was three and I was ten) read to my little boy, my parents sharing a book with Jesse, a family trip to the zoo, lunch with a good friend who I know only because my mom and her dad went to high school together.  It was the best Thanksgiving week I could possibly ask for.  On the drive home, I spent a while thinking about how lucky we are to have the wonderful support network holding up our little family, laughing with us (and sometimes at us, but not in a mean way!) and sharing in the turning seasons.

What are you thankful for?

Second Stomach for Dessert

View from Mr. & Mrs. A's house.

I think one of the reasons I feel so strongly that it takes a village to raise a child is that I very much was raised by a village myself, or, as my mother likes to describe it, chosen family.  One of the joys of this was that, in addition to “sort-of siblings” and “extra parents” I had a couple of extra grandparents as well, Mr. and Mrs. A.  We visited them on vacations, spent July 4th with them often, and generally some of my happiest childhood memories were formed with these people.

Mr. A had a theory about digestion, that most scientists would tell you is false, but I think is true on a deeper level.  He believed that people have a second stomach for dessert.  This explains why, after eating a good solid meal and not really being hungry anymore (or, being too full to eat your protein or veggies) you suddenly have a hearty appetite when dessert is put on the table. This theory was good for vacations, although I don’t think us kids got away with the argument much the rest of the year.

Jesse’s birthday party was this past Sunday, and we have quite a bit of leftover cake.  We’re also trying as hard as we can to get Jesse to consume extra calories so he gains more weight.  So, apparently, after he was giving the “all done” sign for eating his peanut butter-infused oatmeal, James offered him some leftover birthday cake, thinking maybe he’d be able to tempt a few more calories into him.  Although Jesse has never met Mr. A, he clearly got the memo about having a second stomach for dessert, because he devoured the cake.

Maybe I’ll ask my mom (or, better yet, one of Jesse’s extra grandparents) to tell him about having a second stomach.  That sort of thing is probably better coming from a grandparent than a parent :)