An Unusual Thanksgiving

What comes to your mind when you think what a “typical” Thanksgiving should be?  Instantly, I have images of tables laden with pies, and rolls, and potato dishes and stuffing, etc. etc.  Family gathered.  Thankful moments/memories shared.  Cool weather.  Cheerful warm fires.  It amazes me how core those feeling reside.  Often in America, we were very non traditional.  I usually worked, lured by the time- and- a- half pay.  Leaving the guys to set up the tree.  Then usually by the weekend, we would all gather at the Boyd’s house, on the farm, in Cookeville.  My parents, were fine to miss getting together…..perhaps those English roots made Thanksgiving not seem such a core holiday?  (I’ll have to ask them).

So this holiday found us with Darron out of town at mandatory year end meetings and boys out of school (which was an unusual treat, as American Holidays are usually not observed).  Aubrey and Andrew had connived with their friends at school, about coming out to the airstrip and “camping”.  I had been planning a shopping trip to a town about 45 minutes away.  However, when I had to weigh out what the boys would enjoy more, friends or shopping, I didn’t need to read a book on raising boys to get my answer.  

Four Mom’s seemed happy and grateful to drop their boys off, despite my “disclaimer” that Jacob and Nathaniel had low grade fevers.  The party was on.  For me, it was all about food preparation.  Putting enough food on the table for 6 guys in puberty…..I probably should have read a book about that!  They gobbled up the three meals with gusto.  Which is always very satisfying for a mother to watch. 


The camping spot was chosen.  I couldn’t help but notice that it was at the farthest corner of the airstrip from our house.  A good brisk 10 minute walk away. That is far enough out of Mom’s earshot and eye.  Yet still within our aviation “gates”.  During supper it literally dumped rain.  About 8 they headed out to survey the dryness factor of the tents.  2 doves (I mean 8th graders) returned.  “Their” pup tent was one big puddle.  While the 7th graders 2 new Igear tents were snug and dry.  I warned them that they needed to be wise and not get crazy and that many people live here and that we needed to be respectful (none of them rolled their eyes) and then they were gone.  Far from my earshot or guidance.  Was that ok?  Maybe I should have looked in the book for answers?

Meanwhile the 8th graders, Aubrey and Josh, got all nice and comfy in Aubrey’s room.  I said good night at 9 p.m..

At 5:30 Thanksgiving morning, Aubrey knocks on my door. I’m shocked he is awake.  “Mom, you’ve got to see the sunset.”  We gaze in awe at the colors.  Aubrey woke Josh to see it.  He looked, thanked Aubrey for showing it to him and went back to bed. They admitted that they had talked until 1 a.m.


The four 7th graders were not long before they bumbled into the house.  They looked somewhat dazed and unrested.  They confessed to a cold, hard night.  Not even trying to go to sleep until 2 and then sleep was difficult.  Yet despite their hardship, you could tell it had been fun.  I asked several families if they heard the boys during the night.  No complaints were filed.


So our Thanksgiving day was filled with boys, all over the house.  Taking apart a blender to see if they could use the motor.  Monopoly.  Three man sling shot…..firing fruit at each other.  Hiking up the river (and killing a little snake……sigh…..some details I would rather not know).  Video gaming.  Laser shooting.  Food.  And more food.  By 4 they were all gone. 


It was good to be busy and not thinking about how it could be or what it should be or what we might be missing.  Instead we were very present in Papua with boys that have brought joy to my boys.  Honestly, I am tired now and ready for some rest…..or at least a check for time-and-a-half.  But mommies don’t get checks and nothing could pay me enough to have missed this unusual  Thanksgiving with my boys and 4 others.


As always, thanks for reading.  I do hope that your Thanksgiving was very meaningful to you.


  1. Such a huge blessing that your boys have great friends there! I am spending Thanksgiving with Mom and Dad and enjoying it as my last day here in the US. I head back to SA early in the morning. Hope the two with fevers are much improved!!

  2. I so wanted to dive in from nowhere onto the trampoline just behind the boys and dogs while they were having their "tooken taken" and "boing" them in a random helter skelter! Sounds like fun was had anyway!


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