“Mom, I need a new backpack for school.”
“Mom, Can you make sure my band uniform is clean for the game?”
“Dad, My car won’t start.”
“Dad, Can you give me $20.00 to go to the movies?”
“Mom/Dad is Thanksgiving dinner ready YET?”
Does this sound familiar? As teens, we are guilty of taking things for granted, even though we are grateful for everything our parents do f or us. Our teen years are overloaded with making good grades, fitting in, extracurricular activities and family. Thanksgiving is a small break in our hectic schedules, and we teens look forward to this day in a big way. Sleeping in, Food, dessert, family, and of course, living in Texas. I must add football to the day’s festivities. Did I mention food? As a sophomore in college I am thinking of Thanksgiving with a different mindset this year, and wanted to share my thoughts on this holiday with a new twist, so I am writing an epic letter to all teens as they make plans to enjoy their classic turkey dinner or whatever tradition you choose to celebrate.
How did the turkey get in the oven? I never really paid much attention to the planning, shopping, and preparation of our thanksgiving meal. My mom just made it happen. In my defense, I did help. I set the table, and my largest contribution was eating!! The day had just begun, or should I say MY day had just begun. I woke up around 11 a.m. to the savory turkey smells and let my nose guide me downstairs to the kitchen. Set before me was an amazing array of food that just seemed to appear out of nowhere. There were my favorite dips, chips, homemade Chex mix and a variety of appetizers that I had no idea would fit in our fridge. (My mouth is watering and I haven’t made it to the good stuff yet!) I’m in heaven. School’s out, and I have no homework. I get to spend the day with my Mom, Dad and amazing brother. Life is great!!
Before you know it, the turkey dinner is ready and being the good daughter I am, I help deliver the beautiful dishes full of everything a teen could want to the family table and encourage everyone to sit quickly so we can begin to feast! A short amount of time passes and that’s it, dinner is over. I am stuffed. We clear the table and head to the living room to watch football and listen to my Dad snore. At some point in time I head to the kitchen for some homemade pumpkin pie to find that the kitchen is sparkling clean, the leftovers are neatly snuggled in the fridge, and once again I enjoy the fruits of my mother’s labor.
Now, back to my question. How did the turkey get in the oven? My mom is the type of mom that loves to do for others. She takes great pride in preparing our Thanksgiving meal, and even though I always appreciate what she does for us, I never really understood exactly how much love and effort went into this celebration. My mom woke up at 6 a.m. to prepare our dinner. She stood in the kitchen for hours mixing, cleaning, baking, and ensuring that our family enjoyed the traditional recipes handed down throughout the years. Now mind you, this does not include the planning and shopping. On this day every year, my parents create a legacy of kindness, family values, traditions, and love. This is my first year to live away from home, and for the first time I truly realize how the turkey got in the oven. I know it is really easy to take this day for granted. I encourage you to put down your phones, laptops and iPads. Let’s start our own legacies and traditions by embracing those we have loved throughout the years and live in the moment with our families as we celebrate Thanksgiving. Technology has a way of distracting us from those who are presently with us, so this year I am adding to our family traditions by communicating more face-to-face with those who surround me. I can’t wait to celebrate this year. Bring on the turkey and love!! Don’t forget to hug the cook!