We had such a great Thanksgiving, our last in this house. We always enjoy visiting with Ben's brother, John, and his family, and it was a treat to have Dawn's father visit. I was glad to see Ben's other brother, Jeff, again. He lives much further away and lost a foot to diabetes a year or so ago, so I don't see him very often. The holiday had all the necessary components; good food, good company, and grateful hearts.
It also had a surprise. As we made our holiday preparations I had thought about several different activities to keep the boys occupied. The rain had stopped but it was cold, and I felt it might be good to have a small craft project on hand in case they got restless. But I hadn't gotten anything pulled together and on Thanksgiving morning Paul told me not to worry, he had something planned that all three boys would enjoy. I was a bit wary, it not being so easy to find something that all three boys would like, but I was too distracted to ask many questions. When the twin cousins arrived, Paul whisked them upstairs and we didn't hear a peep from them for over an hour. I tiptoed up once or twice to check on them and they assured me through the closed bedroom door that they were happy. It made for a very peaceful cocktail hour for the adults!
Later, when dinner was served, they brought out the surprise -- Thanksgiving decorations they had created from Perle beads. They had made small acorns to mark each place setting and a large turkey and a fall leaf to add to the floral centerpiece. And Michael had also made a penguin to give his teacher for Christmas. All this was organized by Paul and I was very touched by his thoughtfulness.
We have reached the stage in Paul's life where the gentle and happy boy we've always known is sometimes taken over by the assertive "know everything" young teenager. This stage of growing up isn't always fun for the parents and, as a matter of fact, my first five minutes with Paul on Thanksgiving morning weren't the most pleasant. But things got better as the day went on and I was pleased with how the three of us worked happily together to finish the final meal preparations. Paul's surprise was the icing on the cake; a reminder of his inherent good will and generosity. I'm am grateful to be his mother and thankful that Ben urged me down the road to parenthood.