It’s Thanksgiving in Canada. Which is about a month and a half too early for my liking. There’s just something wrong with having turkey so early in the year. Especially when it’s ‘Indian Summer’ and the temperature hovers around seventy degrees. (Which is probably the same predicament Floridians, Arizonians and Texans share…in November…but it’s their own fault for living in such crazy-warm places.)
The Gort had apparently spent all of last week coloring turkeys at school. When he came home on Thursday (no school, Friday…or today) he pulled one colored-turkey after another from his backpack. In Spanish, ‘turkey’ is ‘pavo’. Which may be the only nugget of wisdom he acquired that week. He proceeded to tape a turkey to the wall in the living room. And the dining room.
I shouldn’t say he ‘only’ learned that turkey is pavo. He also learned that it was Thanksgiving weekend. And, suddenly, celebrating this holiday was very important to him. ‘Are we having Thanksgiving with anyone?’ he asked. Initially I’d planned on doing nothing, but as luck would have it, a friend had called that morning and invited us for a Thanksgiving meal. ‘Yes,’ I told him. As if I’d been intentional about it.
‘Will there be pumpkin pie?’ he inquired.
Whose child is this, anyway? Did he not get the memo that we don’t particularly like pumpkin pie? I mean, I’ll eat a (thin) slice if called upon to do so. After all, when we lived in London many years ago, I did pay the cafeteria chef at my work to make me a pumpkin pie. Because we were going to dine with American friends and it seemed, necessary.
But the professor can barely choke it down. And there are probably ten other things I’d rather have for dessert. ‘Wellllll,’ I hedged, ‘maybe’. Which was my why of saying, if I find myself with absolutely nothing to do and magically have all the ingredients on hand….then I might make a [very small] pumpkin pie.
And then my perpetually-surprising son proceeded to jog down memory lane. ‘Remember when we lived in the blue house and had that pumpkin pie with whipped cream?’ Of course I did: Calgary, American Thanksgiving 2008, our house, Jason’s colleague brought a pumpkin pie from Costco and whipped cream.
I marveled at the kid’s ability to recall a seemingly mundane moment. From when he was 4 and-a-half. It gave me hope that he might (some day) leave our house with a few fond memories. To complement the ones of an irritable mom and a huge mess. And parents who could barely drag themselves out of bed.
Sort of like this year’s Thanksgiving Sunday. I hope he’ll remember sharing a meal with friends. And the family movie night we had that evening, during which we watched ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’. Because Netflix Canada has an incredibly random selection of stream-able movies. Mary Poppins? No. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang? Yes.
I’d never seen Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Maybe because of the name? I guess I’d mistakenly thought it would be about women in a saloon, doing the can-can. But the professor, who is an equally surprising individual, announced he’d seen it and it was about a car. (And a woman named Truly Scrumptious who seemed to wear only billowy white dresses: perpetual bride-to-be.)
So we reclined in the living room and watched the movie projected against the wall. ‘I love this movie,’ the Gort announced repeatedly. Though he kept forgetting the name. ‘What’s the name of the car, again,’ he’d ask every few minutes. We ate popcorn and pistachios. The kitchen looked like a science experiment gone awry. The parents were subsisting on an inhumane amount of sleep. Thanks to a seemingly healthy baby who wakes up crying every forty-five minutes. And a six year old who complained of a stomach ache from 2am to 6, when he magically pronounced himself, better. And a domestic disturbance a few houses down that caused the professor to run downstairs while ordering me to call the police. And I, having slept for about twenty minutes, followed him downstairs whilst protesting ‘but I don’t know their number.’
Selective memory. That’s what I’m thankful for.