November 23, 2009


What are you grateful for?
Anju: My mama, my daddy, my brudder.
Arun: Anju, because she shares things with me.
Cagey: A ridiculously crazy schedule because while I do not have time for my blog, it does mean that I have many people to consider, many people who care for me.

At Costco, there is an older man who works there - his name is Mr. Harold.  The kids know him by name and when we went to Costco yesterday, they began asking for him.  I told them that it was Sunday and that Mr. Harold was probably not there.  However, we spied Mr. Harold and both of the kids' eyes lit up.

The usual holiday talk came up and when I asked Mr. Harold his plans, my heart sank. He had none.  None.  He told me His Story of why he had no plans and I got teary-eyed.  He was matter-of-fact about it and I tried to compose myself because I wanted to be respectful.  The dude did not need sympathy from an over-privileged white girl.

However,  Mr. Harold is more than just a nice Costco employee to me.  This is a man who has consistently gone out of his way to help me.  Particularly, in those early, stressful days of having 2 Under 2 when I was figuring out how to work the whole Shopping With 2 Under 2 gig.  Days when it would begin pouring down rain just as I was exiting the store.   Days when it seemed everything was going wrong.  Days when I would completely and utterly misgauge the kids' nap schedules and/or Anjali's nursing schedule which would leave me rushing to check out and just escape lest all the minions of hell broke loose on the poor saps in the food court just trying to enjoy their kosher hot dog, yo.   Mr. Harold would help me with my purchases.  Or, he would keep an eye on the kids while I would dash out in a thunderstorm to get the car.  Or, he would just offer a friendly smile and greeting.

I wanted to extend a Thanksgiving invitation to Mr. Harold, but for a variety of reasons I did not, including the fact that I am not hosting Thanksgiving and felt it was not my place to just randomly invite folks.  X thought I should have extended one.  I am disappointed that I did not, also.

I most certainly am going to be doing something for him for Christmas.  Because I think Mr. Harold needs to know how much I appreciated him when my babies were small and when I felt so very small myself.

I don't want to leave this on such a maudlin note, so I will redirect you elsewhere. 

Average Jane has compiled her favorite Thanksgiving recipes into one helpful book.  Truly, I love, love her recipe for cranberry sauce - it is so easy and simple  - you dump the ingredients into a pot and let it simmer.  Folks, that is it.  I relish the lovely smells it creates in my house as I am rushing around.  The sharp, tangy smell of cranberry and orange juice help me to relax.

And Scribbit has a sweet post about contentment.  As she points out:
This time of year we're given a paradox: Thanksgiving is the season for gratitude yet before the turkey is even cold we're bombarded by advertisers telling us we can't make it through the holiday celebrations without buying things. Lots of things, and the more the better.

So we're supposed to be grateful but not so grateful that we don't want lots more.
Which leaves me for one more thing for which I am grateful:
My family.  If there is a time that I am appreciative for my family, this is the time of the year when I am most thankful.  Our celebrations are centered very simply around food and togetherness.  No complicated, guilt-laden traditions are required.  Oh sure, the children are deluged with silly toys, but the adults are not bombarded with ridiculous expectations.  My Christmas list is very simple and short.

My goal for the month of December is enjoy the lights and music with my kids.  I am also looking forward to enjoying some local, Kansas City traditions with my kids - Crown Center, Union Station, the Plaza, the Arboretum, Shawnee Mission Park.  And thanks to my family, I will get to do just that because I will not be wasting time trolling through big box stores and the malls.

Happy Thanksgiving, folks.



Mishri said...

Awwww-- this entry nearly made me tear up. This man sounds so wonderful. Why do all the nicest people have to be alone, especially on the holidays?

Cagey (Kelli Oliver George) said...

When I told Manoj about the exchange with Mr. Harold, he replied "Yeah, that was me, too". Meaning - until he built a life with me, that was what HE went through every year. Awesome! I feel even BETTER. So, yeah. Manoj totally got it.

LuAnn said...

Awesome post. This is the real joy of the holiday season, all that you mentioned.

Bethany said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

Amira @ Define "Mature" said...

I love nice people, I would had to fight the urge to extend an invitation as well.

Happy Gobble' Gobble' Day !

aibee said...

Can you go back today and extend an invitation to Mr Harold? Chances are he won't come anyway, but how GREAT is he going to feel about being included?

Happy Thanksgiving, sweetheart xx

Olivia said...

I agree with Aibee. Can you check with your hosts? If there is room, you can tell Mr. Harold a spot opened up.