In a few days, students and teachers will begin the much anticipated Thanksgiving break. Summer has flown by and cooler air has turned the leaves a variety of fall colors. Halloween is over, but pumpkins are staying in place with added corn stalks, bales of hay, sun flowers, and assorted colors and shapes of gourds as decoration for the Thanksgiving season.
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of the year. Thanksgiving means a houseful of relatives. The grownups spend time cooking at least a day ahead of our Thanksgiving dinner. We would normally have turkey with our dressing, but for the past couple of years we have served chicken and ham. We are doing the same this year. Casseroles, fresh steamed vegetables, pies, cake, puddings and more fill the counters of my kitchen. Two gallons of sweet tea are a must when the Daher clan gathers together.
As the grownups prepare the food, the children play, run, jump and all the things young children do when they get together at any celebration. Our granddog, Nico always attends our big events. Between the children and Nico, our two cats have learned to slink away and hide until everyone has left except the older, quiet ones, which usually means Kalil and I. The cats don’t mind hanging out with Austin or Jared. They are familiar with the boys playing games on their computers and will hop up on the sofa beside them hoping for a back rub and a little scratching behind their ears.
As our family has grown, we have improvised in order to fit everyone in the same room to eat. At one time, we had a ping pong table that worked perfectly to have everyone seated together. We gave away the ping pong table and now have resorted to using two large tables with a mixture of chairs around them. We also have a children’s table for the smaller ones. This type of togetherness may not be for everyone, but it works beautifully for our family.
The noise level would probably cause some to think we had lost our minds. If you aren’t around a large family who loves to laugh, talk and play, you probably would end up with a huge headache or wish you could have a big, happy family like ours.
All of my children are quick-witted and love to out-do their siblings in humor whether it be sarcastic or just plain funny. Kalil and I have always been amazed at the hours our children can continue their antics without running out of funny comebacks. I am sure, a lot of this comes from their competitiveness. We, as parents never tried to push our children to be better than others but they choose to push theirselves to be high achievers. It can be hard to watch them study so hard and not receive a perfect score. Learning from those experiences has taught them there will always be someone who will do better, speak better, or perform certain tasks better, but it doesn’t mean they haven’t tried their best.
They are their best when they are all together, laughing and cutting up. They love sharing tips or new skills they have learned. It fascinates me to hear Ahmed and Jamal talking about rebuilding motors in a truck and go from there to discuss computer programming or the latest technology. I love to hear my children sharing their thoughts, successes, troubles, solutions and most of all their laughter.
I have so much to be thankful for, and it’s all wrapped up in love. Now, pass that coconut pie!
Brenda Daher is editor of The Baldwyn News.