We had a pretty great Thanksgiving.

I have never given much thought to how fortunate we are as a family to get along so well. We seem to have our little problems like everyone else.  But, listening to my adult friends talk about the stiffness and distance in relation to their siblings has made me realize of late how lucky we are.  We have been described by someone who has seen us all together as a giant basket of puppies, tumbling all over each other.

There were five of us, but now there are eight.  And we are fortunate that our spouses find us all as loveable as we do.  The other two endure much ribbing when charged to marry as well.

To be sure, none of us are very practiced at being decisive.  This, however, usually results in the harmless activity of very long mornings at the coffee shop chasing around the kiddos.

There was the last minute dash on Wednesday evening for the exact kind and type of rolls that were wanted for Thursday and a call to my sister to make sure she was doubling the usual amount of broccoli casserole. Some of the elders have moved on to buying their contributions, some of the youngers have moved on to trying their hands at baking the family dishes.

At Thanksgiving dinner there were more of us eating dinner than there were chairs in the house, a discovery that wasn’t made until Thanksgiving morning.  But the largeness of my aunt’s heart that would have us all and invite more regardless, leant us the extra square footage.

My great uncle can’t hear very well anymore and his hearing aids lend him insufficient support to participate much in conversation.  But he still carves the turkey and leads the family prayer as he has since I was a little girl.

We are quirky, have our long histories, and, inevitably, we tease middle brother to his breaking point at least once.

There were tired babies and one hyper six year old boy that got out of hand tackling the uncles.

There were aero-beds, pack-n-plays, and a grandma still limber enough to sleep on a couch to no ill effect.

There was the obligatory flash mob as we crashed eighteen year-old cousin’s Black Friday workplace and told him loudly that his mother loved him.

Some of us paid for coffees, some of us paid for pizza, and some of us brought the drinks.

And, yes, it took us eleven hours to make the seven hour drive home to San Francisco from Pasadena, and, yes, there was a pee accident in a car seat, but, hey, at least no one got car sick.

So, we were glad to go and glad to get back and, all-in-all, I am very, very thankful to have learned from youth this familial grace that believes the best and honors all.  I am glad, too, that I get a chance to do it in my own little family, growing people, growing memories, growing family legacies, and doing it a little bit better so they can do it better, too.

I hope you all find yourselves this week with plates full of juicy morsels of thanksgiving with leftovers besides.

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