Nov 27, 2008

Thoughts on Thanksgiving

Ladies and Gentlemen - tonight is the night.

After the plates are cleaned by our mouths, then with soap and water, and it's legitimately time to play Christmas becomes THE night.

Christmas season is upon us. Black Friday is t-minus 76 minutes away. Gulp.

I ran to the store for my mom today. I bought vanilla ice cream, Raisin Bran, and generic Honey Nut Cheerios. I walked through the store and watched frazzled men and women rush through lines to get home. I watched store workers ready to get home. And I watched couples. Several. Holding hands and standing much to close to one another. I eyed them with unfortunate disdain. Yes, ladies and gentleman, tonight is THE night. It never fails that this time of year is when couples become more apparent and being single glares at you in the mirror.

I pushed the thoughts from my mind, unwilling to admit that the time has arrived. For goodness sakes, I am twenty years old. I have a lovely life, full of work and school and friends and family. There's no time to be a half of a couple. Plus, it would only take time away from those things I need MORE time attending.

I went to The Parsons Junior home tonight. We ate a lot (the most wonderful sweet potatoes and stuffing - thanks for bringing those in with you Ashley! - and pumpkin pie) and took pictures and laughed. This Thanksgiving felt different than the others to me. Maybe it's because I am growing up, or feel closer to my siblings, or have another year under my belt. Whatever it may be, spending time with my family was more valuable. I do see them on a regular basis - but those moments of make-my-stomach-hurt laughter are what keep me grounded in life.

Upon returning home this evening, as Christmas season legitimately begins, I felt the need to watch one of my favorite movies - Little Women. It's the perfect holiday movie - all about family and growing up and heartache and happiness. I cried when Beth recovered from her first bout of scarlet fever, and when Jo turned down Laurie's proposal, and when Beth died. I know that in the end of the story, good wins out. I hate that Beth dies and that Laurie marries Amy instead of Jo, but most of all I hate that the relationships of the sisters change. As the girls grow up, they pursue different things and become different people, better people, than they were in the beginning. But the magic that exists in their childhoods fades as maturity sets in.

When Meg and Mr. Brooks are getting married, Jo participates in the circling of the couple with hesitancy, and Laurie notices. He frowns at her, and she is clearly very sad to watch one of her best friends leave her for another.

I will hate to watch my sisters get married. I know that I will be happy, as long as they are, but I don't want things to change. With the addition of new people comes new dynamics, and I like our dynamic right where it is. So I empathize with Jo as she loses her sisters to Mr. Brooks and Laurie and death.

Of course, the flip side to all this is that when new people are added to the family, you can get incredibly lucky and add in an Ashley. It's safe to say our family is completely different with the addition of first Ashley, then Micah, then Tyler. Let us not forget Kent and Elizabeth as well. They change our interactions, our humor, our Thanksgiving menu, and it is good. VERY good. I wouldn't want our family to look any different than it does - unless it's the addition of someone just as good.

So on a night like tonight, it may be the beginning of THAT season. But single or not, my family remains those who keep me grounded, and I can't imagine myself happier than when I am with them.

"Love is the only thing that we can carry with us when we go, and it makes the end so easy." - Louisa May Alcott


  1. I adore Louisa May Alcott (ever read Eight Cousins?) but I always, always cry when Laurie marries Amy instead of Jo. And when Amy tries to call him "Teddy" and he says "No, that was her name for me." Bah.
    I love that picture of you and your sisters, btw. you're a beautiful family. and your thanksgiving sounds absolutely delightful.

  2. I could never love anyone as I love my sisters.

  3. I love this post so very much. thank you for appreciating me and making me feel so blessed to be a part of your family. I love you!!

  4. Or, not to upstage Louisa May Alcott, but only to add a contemporary voice to hers. . . a voice that intentionally and subversively perhaps injects the truth of I Corinthians 13 into a postmodern world. . . Bono writes, "Love, it's not the easy thing, the only baggage you can bring; love, it's not the easy thing, the only baggage that you can bring is all that you can't leave behind." Meaning that love which is birthed in the Age to Come, and which is welcomed into our Present Age, and which we participate in, never fades, never ends, lasts forever. It's the only thing in the end that matters in all of life, St. Paul says and Sarah Parsons says. Well said.


  5. Family is definitely there's no other way to put it than that.

  6. Okay, Sarah Parsons, this post about made me cry. Do you remember when we assigned roles from Little Women to us and I always wanted to be Jo and you guys told me I had to be Meg? And then Becca in her way said "Great, I get to be the one who dies." I love it! I'm very content to be Meg now (doesn't she marry a red headed Jon?). And I think Annie fits Jo. Oh, I miss you guys.
    That picture of the three of you is beautiful!

  7. ahahahhh, joolan! i miss the days when you lived with us.

    and fessoo, you are a much better writer than me. come home for christmas now so we can continue to have family togetherness.

    ps: don't worry, the only man in my life is GREEEEEBS. i guess i really am beth! ;)