First off, Happy Thanksgiving to you all! We had a big crowd at our house for the festivities and since I love to cook, I made almost everything. We had a fresh turkey for the first time and it was succulent and delicious. Kevin’s dad dropped it off on Tuesday and honestly this was the largest bird I had ever seen! The boys helped me clean and prep the bird on Wednesday night and Conall was crying thinking about the idea that the turkey had been raised just to be slaughtered for us to eat on Thanksgiving but when I commented that he could be a vegetarian like Mairen, his love of hot dogs and salami won out. Declan on the other hand discovered for the first time that being a vegetarian was a choice. He seemed to think that just like Mairen was born a girl and he a boy, that she was born a vegetarian and he was not. From that moment he realized he had a choice, he decided he would be a vegetarian too. We’ll see how long that lasts….this boy loves to eat and loves his meat but for now he’s holding fast.
Thanksgiving has always been a great holiday for me. I love to cook and have my family all over at our house. I love the fact that it is a present-less holiday and that it gives us a chance to think about what we have to be thankful for. This year I have so much I am thankful for….the support of my family as I made a huge leap out on my own, having my brothers around me all the time, having my kids so close to me in every way, and a husband who is patient and supportive. And yet this year, I was feeling down on Thanksgiving. I was glad I had things to do in the kitchen, glad that there was happy noise all around me and soooo glad that the crowd was big and loving and joyous. I could sort of hang back and just be, and even though I was really off my emotional game, I could at least see how the crowd enjoyed it and I did too vicariously. I had my camera this year and took a bunch of photos which allowed me to participate with a screen between me and the others. I needed that slight distance this year. Lucky for me, my family (immediate, extended, and in-lawed) just take me as I am and love me all the same.
After a short day in the office on Friday, we all went into town and saw ‘Bolt’. Talk about a great movie! It is the story of a dog who from his earliest puppy days has been a superhero on a TV show….but Bolt thinks it is all real….so when his person, Penny, gets kidnapped on the show, he escapes from the trailer where he stays at night to find her. His search for her takes him all over the country and along the way he not only meets the requisite worldly wise and hilarious sidekicks but discovers that he is indeed a ‘regular’ dog without any of the superhero qualities he thought he possessed. A real identity crisis for our canine hero and of course at times the reality of his now apparent shortcomings was hard to adjust too. Despite his burgeoning reality, he continued to search for Penny single-mindedly never giving up on the idea that she was indeed his person. He began to accept and embrace the ‘new’ Bolt and when he finally saw Penny again, he had been replaced by a look-alike dog for the TV show and he thought Penny had moved on and given up on him. Poor Bolt! Lucky for him, one of his worldly wise sidekicks had seen Penny pining away for the real Bolt and when the studio caught on fire with Penny trapped, Bolt came to the rescue. Bolt realized that he was a hero of a sort and that remaining true who you really are and to those who you love can be the key to genuine happiness. Not too shabby for a kid movie.
Seeing ‘Bolt’ and spending the rest of the weekend with the kids has set me straight and the holiday blues are lifting. Now I just have the extra 10 pounds I gained to tackle…..
Eat less, see ‘Bolt’, and allow yourself to feel sad sometimes and each day will be your best.
Molly O’Shea, MD Birmingham Pediatrics + Wellness Center