Sometimes the old, familiar places are different but still comforting.
Thanksgiving evening, I played on the floor with my cousin’s three-year-old. We put together puzzles, re-sorted the pieces in creative ways, and talked about animals and dance. It was a casual family gathering, and I enjoyed the relaxation. It wasn’t my normal Thanksgiving celebration, but looking back, I’m not sure what I would have classified as a normal Thanksgiving anyway. It’s the holiday that seems to ebb and change across years for my family, especially since my girls have grown up.
This Thanksgiving, I was on the floor playing with another little girl.
She wanted to read and brought me a couple books. I crossed my legs to make a comfortable sitting space for her, and she plopped down and settled in. We went through two books, looking at all the pictures and filling in details not included in the storyline. It makes a book last longer, and it spurs the imagination. As soon as we were done with those two books, they were exchanged for two more, and we continued to read.
I have so many wonderful memories of reading to my girls, as well as reading to kids I babysat or groups of kids at a library, school, or other event. I connect to and through stories, and seeing others’ imaginations and excitement take shape and getting engrossed in a story is thrilling to me.
Spending time sitting criss-cross applesauce (which isn’t as easy to get out of as I get older) was my favorite part of Thanksgiving this year, and it was a day filled with many blessings and smiles. It was different than in years past but had enough similarities that I found comfort in the familiar places.
As holiday family gatherings approach, be open to changes and find comfort in the familiar. You’ll have both, and both have value. As you combine the old and the new, you’ll make new memories that will serve as a foundation for the future.