Thanksgiving is in a few days. I know this because I already had that moment when I freak out and realize it's actually next week instead of two weeks away. It seems to happen to me every year, which is why I prefer holidays that have an actual date. I always know when Christmas and Halloween are, but Thanksgiving and Easter sneak up on me.
Now that panic has given way to preparation, I can focus on what the day is really about (no, not football). I have started to think about what I am thankful for. Of course there is the health and well-being of my family. There is also the financial security that allows us to have a wonderful home where we can all come together to celebrate. I will definitely think about those things over the next few days, but not as much as one might expect. Not that I take our good fortune for granted. In fact, it's just the opposite. I am so aware of all of those good things that I don't wait until Thanksgiving to be thankful. I do it on Christmas, Groundhog Day and even Easter if I actually remember when it is.
So as Thanksgiving approaches I may not be thinking as much about the health of my family. I will probably be thinking about the dinner that needs to be on the table no later than 5:00 pm. On Wednesday night I won't be thinking about our lovely home where our family will come together, I'll be thinking of just one room: the kitchen. It will be filled with uncooked food, including a turkey with a bag of something inside that I can't bring myself to touch. And in that moment, for the rest of the night, and throughout Thanksgiving day, I will be thankful for my husband. He will pull that bag out of the turkey and throw it away so I don't have to touch it. He will chop onions or boil potatoes or snap green beans. He will make a cake everyone will rave about. Then, when it's all over, together we will wash a lot of dishes.
In the days following Thanksgiving I will talk to at least one married friend who will tell me how exhausting the holiday was because of all the time she spent cooking and cleaning while her husband sat on the couch watching football. My husband likes football too, but he understands that while you can be a fan of the sport, you can't be a fan in your own home. You can't sit in the stands and let your spouse do all the work on the field (or in the case of Thanksgiving, all the work in the kitchen). Come Thursday, my husband will be part of the team, and that is what I am thankful for.