There are so many things we can be thankful for in our lives. All too often the greed inside pushes us to look at what we don’t have instead of being grateful for what we do have.
So far I have talked about modern conveniences, financial security, physical security, education, good health, and independence. While all of those are nice and I am very grateful for each one, I consider them meaningless without family.
We are hosting Thanksgiving for the first time. It is a lot of work to clean up the house and plan several days worth of food, lodging, and entertainment, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. The flurry of emails and phone calls from various parents, siblings, and extended family as we try to coordinate who is bringing what is a constant reminder of how many lives we are a part of.
Last night we went to the mall to stretch our legs and get some exercise. We were walking along a narrow aisle in Kohls when Frugal Boy belted out a “HII”. I had to look around a bit to see who his target was when I spotted her, an elderly lady in a wheelchair. I hadn’t noticed her before Frugal Boy’s enthusiastic greeting. People tend to blend in and get tuned out, but not for a two year old. Her face lit up with a huge smile with one simple word. As far as I could tell, she was there by herself; alone amid a sea of people.
Generational homes use to be quite common with three or more generations all living under the same roof. Then sometime around the Industrial Revolution that changed as younger generations left home to go where the jobs were, oftentimes in the city. The end result is that we often rely upon nursing homes to care for our elderly family members because we do not have the proximity or time to look after them. One of the best movies that looks at how family structure has shifted is The Gods Must Be Crazy. The intro is particularly entertaining as it mocks the complicated lives of ‘civilized’ people.
Anyway, while I fully expect Frugal Boy to leave the nest and pursue his own path and honestly I would be disappointed if he didn’t, I do expect to keep in touch with him. For now, I needn’t worry about having an empty nest. I just enjoy cuddling with him and reading books.
Family is the most important thing in life. Without family, what are we?