This year I have so many people and things in my life to be thankful for. I feel truly lucky and blessed. And way up at the top of my list of things I’m thankful for are shoes with laces.
More specifically, I’m thankful for my mom’s checkered shoes with laces…one white lace and one blue lace. When she wears them she looks like she is going to a Cindy Lauper concert circa 1985. They are old now, worn around the edges, and faded from lots of washings. Most importantly, though, they are shoes she can put on and tie all by herself.
Why would that be important? Because she will, at some point, lose the ability to do complex things like using a fork and knife, like walking, like tying her shoes. She will lose the ability to do the things that require lots of parts of your brain to work together.
But not this year. No way. This Thanksgiving she put her own shoes on, tied them without any help, used a knife and fork to eat Thanksgiving lunch, and had a great day riding around and singing songs with me.
When I was a kid, Thanksgiving dinner was a big production. Mom made multiple grocery store runs, prepped all day Wednesday and cooked all day Thursday. My brother and I were in charge of the table. Our dinner table had to have a clean table cloth, the good dishes out, silverware in the right places, and wine glasses with no spots. It was a big production, and it was very important.
For several years, I would be mad and even sad that we didn’t have that Thanksgiving anymore. I couldn’t enjoy or be thankful for what was, because I really wanted what used to be. What I understand now that I didn’t then is that Thanksgiving is about finding joy in the now and appreciating what you do have.
And this year, I have my mom who can lace up her own tennis shoes and I wouldn’t trade that for the nicest table cloth or the best dishes or the fanciest turkey dinner. Our nontraditional Thanksgiving works just fine for us.