Monday, November 27, 2006

Thanksgiving, the Little Monkey way.

We're back from our holiday break, visiting my folks in the vast wilderness known as "upstate NY." We endured a long mini-van ride over the river and through the woods, to Grandma B's house we go! Though he was still recovering from his most recent stomach bug, the Little Monkey was quite taken with exploring my parents' house, as well as the bewildering amount of stuff that is contained within its walls. Food? Who needs food?

My mother is an excellent cook, and I was really looking forward to eating many meals at her table. Of course, I had no illusions that the monkey would share my interest in this regard. Needless to say, he lived up to my expectations. While other children sat down to tables heaped with Thanksgiving abundance, my child preferred to spend his time playing with plastic fruit. Here, Monkey Sr. is literally cornering him the sitting room - baby alphabet pasta in one hand, and a heaping of desperation in the other. Though that spoon may make it to the vicinity of the monkey's mouth, actually getting it in there is another story. While the rest of us stuffed ourselves shamelessly, the Little Monkey remained resolutely Spartan in his fasting purity.

Notwithstanding the eating issues, I did get a kick out of seeing the little guy wandering the old family homestead. While he's visited there before, he's at an age now where he's mobile, exploring every nook, and asking questions. I always loved the area where my parents' house is located. It's a lovely mix of woods, big skies, and fresh air. At night, it gets dark enough to actually see all the stars in the sky. And you can usually catch a few deer wandering around in the back yard looking for apples, fallen from the trees. Of course, there are all manner of wildlife wandering the property looking for food since my mother has taken it upon herself to feed anything that walks, flies, or hops within fifty feet of front door. I kid you not when I say that I saw the world's largest furry, orange cat come waddling up our driveway for its daily meal. And it waited outside the front door until my mom came out with a plate of cut up turkey she had cooked herself.

But I digess. Here's what I wanted to say. It was a thrill seeing my little guy exploring the home I grew up in. I got to show him the back yard where I played; we walked up and down the stairs I once stormed in fits of teenager anger. With his fresh eyes, I rediscovered the fun of shaking fuzzy milkpods loose from their moorings, and watching the "poofs" go floating in the wind. And I heard him laugh. I made him smile, and that felt really good.

Miss Mina has been eating well. It takes a lot of calories to maintain those cheeks, chins and dimples, you know.
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