We had literally cooked all day, this being rather a joy in my mountain kitchen, the giant picture windows providing a grand view of the Black Mountains even as I chopped and stirred and whisked. Thanksgiving dinner was to be served 6:30ish, giving plenty of time for Tim to return from the airport with Alex and Alexis, time for all the dishes to be cooked (we hoped) in our small, single oven, time for a pre-dinner cocktail while we hugged and giggled and gushed at all being together for this happy holiday.
It was all so much. My heart was full at the prospect of a joyful celebration followed by a lazy Friday with our grown-up kids and their sweet loves, at having this tiny moment when I got to enjoy them and I got to enjoy them enjoying each other.
But first? And in the moment? Right there by my side was sweet Eliza, all grown up now, a woman and a wife, sharing equally in the preparations. She has grown into a person I love not only because she is my daughter but because she is smart and generous and fun. She embodies joy. And her happy spirit filled that kitchen, floating through the house into every nook and corner not unlike the smell of the roasting turkey, warm, homey, glorious. A time or two I looked at her and it took my breath, watching her, listening to her, reckoning my little-girl-Eliza with my grown-up-Eliza, reckoning how it is that all these years have gone by and gosh by golly, our children are grown.
This I know, as well. Over the course of my life, as I consider both the sweetest moments and the grandest days, Thanksgiving 2022 will rank up there with the best of them. Alex and Alexis arrived and we hugged so hard (and so often) it was delicious. The turkey was perfect and the sides came out warm-ish enough. Tim and Preston did all the dishes (smiley emoji here) and there were stories and games and dogs X3. And good lord, there was laughter. Was there ever laughter.
Plus all the day and all the night long, there she was—my beautiful, precious daughter—right at my side,
30 Days of Joy