Sunday, November 26, 2017

Thanksgiving with kids

Thanksgiving morning started with the Gravy Chase 4.5 mile run in Zionsville with my friend Suzanne.  We both were trying to counter all the future calories to be consumed in the afternoon!

A porch full of loved ones on Thanksgiving.

And the eating continued at the Brinkruffs' house.

On the morning after Thanksgiving, Connor raced into the kitchen and announced his cousin Will was vomiting.

"Where?" I asked with visions of carpets damaged beyond repair.  (And yes, the carpets were my first concern and the wellbeing of my nephew came second.  I'm confessing this as a personal shortfall that has caused me to rethink the goodness of my heart.)

Connor motioned me to the upstairs bathroom.

The good news is that he made it to the bathroom.

The bad news is that he failed to hit the toilet.

While my brother and I were mopping up the floors and tending to poor Will, I heard repetitive thuds coming from the direction of the stairwell.  Still clutching bleach cleaner and a wad of paper towels, I gazed out towards the hall.  Cooper was hauling our Christmas boxes down the stairs.

"Cooper, what are you doing?" I wailed in a tone that can best be used in this exact situation.

"Putting up Christmas decoration, of course," he said while grinning and tugging out fragile, glass ornaments and tossing them on the ground like they were beachballs.

Which fire to put out first?

While I was trying to encourage Cooper to (temporarily) squash his inner Joanna Gaines, I was simultaneously sanitizing the bathroom and consoling my ailing nephew.  

With kids, Thanksgiving is an experience.

On Thanksgiving, nine children packed into our house.  The cousins and siblings mixed together to fight/play/eat/laugh together.  

They filled the "kids'" table for our Thanksgiving meal.  As I spectated from the adult table, I couldn't hear their conversation, but I could observe the tone and volume that emanated from that portion of the house.  They were having a ball.  I'm sure topics like the conflict in North Korea or Trump's effectiveness in office weren't being analyzed (my bet is that flatulence humor dominated the discussion).  But, this was a like-minded group who all shared and enjoyed the same juvenile banter.

From the table, the kids piled outside into the yard.  A spirited game of Capture the Flag was soon underway (Memaw and I even joined a team).  While most of the game lent itself to grins and laughs, the game eventually erupted into an unresolved conflict over who exactly "cheated." And yes, it appears we have an epidemic of cheaters in the family.  Cheating, it appears, is contagious.  When one family member exhibits the signs of cheating, it's jut a matter of time before everyone displays similar symptoms.  It appears that it is easier to spot this illness in others than in yourself!

Apples to Apples saved the day.  The beauty of this game is that there are no winners or loser (a concept that seemed lost to some).  The possibility that someone could cheat at this game seems non-existent!  We all settled in and laughed while young ones tried to explain why Hellen Keller is smelly or a burrito is manly (these comments only makes sense if you have played the game).  Bruised relationships from the prior game seemed to repair with each silly card and shared chuckle.

One day, I imagine our Thanksgivings will be more docile.  I'm guessing there won't be cheating cries, flatulence jokes, vomit-stained bathrooms, and over-eager children.  But I'm also guessing those holidays will lack the personality and joy that can only be experienced when kids are involved in a celebration.

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