It’s spring break this week, and we’ve been visiting my family in Pennsylvania.  The 8-hour drive can be rough, especially with a toddler in tow, but once we’re here it’s always a good time.  The night we first arrived, opening the fridge to grab a beer, I had a sudden and very real sense of being here for the holidays–specifically, Thanksgiving.

Yes, one year we all had matching T-shirts.  We are that family.
Yes, one year we all had matching T-shirts. We are that family.

In my family, Thanksgiving is a high holy holiday.  It always has been.  A houseful of cousins chasing each other through the house (and more recently, playing flip-cup), flag football games in the yard while my dad slaves in the kitchen and my parents and aunts and uncles and the various other relatives we collect along the way drink wine and socialize and reminisce all day long.  There are the dogs, too–every family has one, and when we dozen cousins moved on to flip-cup, it was the dogs doing the chasing through the house.

Over the years, things about our family have changed, but the central heart of our Thanksgiving holiday has stayed pretty much the same.  Only this past year was different, with various conflicts preventing the relatives from converging–but we still had a wonderful holiday and equal amounts of fun with our chosen family, including passing on the time-honored tradition of the Kids’ Table.

I know that as our family continues to grow and change and move around and get married and have more kids and start new careers, Thanksgiving will also change.  But years of tradition and memories have ensured that no matter what happens, I know I’ll always make sure my son treasures this special time with family as much as I do.