Saturday, November 19, 2011


The other day, my aunt, who hosts Thanksgiving for a giant mob of extended family every year, sent out this e-mail:
We plan to have turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce (whole berry), pies - the usual. If there's anything particular you want, or want to be sure we don't leave out, be sure to let me know so we can arrange it. For example, we don't usually have rolls.

And usually, I just respond with a "I'm delighted with whatever we have; I just care about the company." Some years, I decide I care a lot about creamed onions and say so. But this year, I realized that one of the high points of Thanksgiving for me comes pre-meal, and I e-mailed to say so.

We do hors d'oevres, you see. And usually those hors d'oevres are prepared and then passed by the youngest members of our clan. When someone tiny walks around with a dish of mixed nuts (which one always does), it's sweet, and you take a couple and thank him or her, and continue your conversation.

When a small child takes a tray of deviled eggs around, or celery sticks with peanut butter and mayonnaise and raisins, the adults keep a little closer eye on things, because that tray is going to tip a little, and it will go badly if it tips a lot.

But when someone tiny is serving up the tiny glasses of sherbet and cranberry juice —with spoons in them — everyone stops and holds their collective breath, because of course we can't deprive a happy tyke the opportunity to help, but ohmyGod it's full of cranberry juice ohmyGodohmyGod.

Really, there is nothing in my life like that particular combination of cheery helpfulness and danger/precariousness.

Day 19 of my month of gratitude: I am thankful for moments lived on the edge, and tradition, and traditions of moments lived on the edge.

No comments: