I woke up yesterday morning without the help of an alarm. I had slept until my body had its fill of it, which should have felt heavenly as I spend most of my time ravenous for rest and grateful for every opportunity I have to get some. But it didn’t and I wasn’t. Because it was Thanksgiving. I know, that’s the day you’re supposed to be thankful for everything, but it just didn’t feel right. I was supposed to be chopping and stirring and stuffing and luring grumbly tummies to the kitchen with the sounds and smells of the year’s best eating. But our meal would be coming later rather than sooner, because Dave was still at work.

My girls were snuggling tight to me, which sounds very sweet until you consider that they come climbing in my bed in the night so I may act as a human shield against monsters. Also, because I am warm and able to reach the lights. Still, it was an appropriate way to start the day, I guess, as the things I am most grateful for in this world are those little cover hogs. I hugged them close and sniffed their heads and tried to stay still so the cuddly quiet might last a little longer, but Julia had begun to stir. Thirty seconds later she was jumping on the bed shouting, “Happy Thanksgiving!” followed by, “Can I play the zombie game?”

Of course, she couldn’t, because my meanness doesn’t rest, even on holidays.

I decided to satiate my desire to prepare food by making pancakes, but it was like having someone scratch your back about an inch from the itchy spot.

I calculated my cooking time for each dish on my menu and drew up an elaborate preparation schedule. Even then, I didn’t need to begin until 1:30 p.m. and all I could think about was missing the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade thanks to our television service budget cut. I was getting moody. And mean. Over what? I’m the woman who had Christmas a whole day late last year! What did I care that dinner was going to be at 6 p.m. rather than 1 p.m.? For some reason, I did. A lot. Maybe it’s because the whole, “At least we’ve got each other,” doesn’t feel so comforting when your other isn’t there.

Eventually, Dave meandered home and I was able to do the thing where I pretend I’m too busy to hug him hello and then smile with my face, but not my heart when he asks me if everything’s okay. And because he’s a good husband, he played right along and followed me around, begging for my love and attention until I was ready to give it to him.

After that, we had a wonderful meal followed by a viewing of Emmett Otter’s Jug Band Christmas that we’d borrowed from the library. And as I sat there draped with sleepy kids next to a husband who was laughing so hard I could feel it more than hear it – seriously, the man was crying – over the outtakes, I thought, “Well, it’s not Tivo, but it’ll do.”