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Thursday, November 22, 2012

a pilgrim is a doe

You can take the child out of Thanksgiving but you can't take Thanksgiving out of the child, is not a saying.  And nor should it be.  

The last time my five-year old celebrated Thanksgiving in America he was two.  He had some turkey.  Ate a slice of pie.  Watched Charlie Brown and his on-again off-again Peppermint Patty dramatically explain the meaning of the holiday before Christmas.  

He has no memory of this or anything remotely like this whatsoever.  

My children are being educated abroad.  I always thought that was a good thing.  They’d learn about different cultures, see the world, grow up with tolerance.  I didn't really give much thought to what they weren't learning.  

Until yesterday.

It was Thanksgiving here.  Even though the date label up there says it is today.  It's not. Yesterday.  Thursday.  Thanksgiving.  Which I only remembered was happening on Wednesday. So.  After morning band practice, a full day of school, one birthday party, swim lessons, endless homework and shopping for a new mattress, we threw together an instant just-add-water holiday dinner starring a store-bought roasted chicken.  The locals were begging for an invite.  But it was just us. 

And this conversation I had with Charlie.  

Charlie Gray.

Me:  Do you know what Thanksgiving is?

Charlie:  You give your own food to old people-- no, I mean, you give things to lonely kids that don't have anything.

Me:  Do you know what day it is?

Charlie:  No.

Me:  It's today.  

Charlie:  No it's not.

Me:  Do you know who Christopher Columbus is?

Charlie:  Is he a famous person?

Me:  Yes.

Charlie:  Is he a lonely people?

Me:  Do you know where the United States is?

Charlie:  Yes.  In the United States.

Me:  What about the Mayflower?

Charlie:  I don't know what that is.

Me:  It was a ship.

Charlie:  Does it have missiles?

Me:  No, it was an old ship.

Charlie:  So no missiles.  

Me:  What are Native American Indians?

Charlie:  People who live in the jungle.

Me:  What is a pilgrim?

Charlie:  A doe.

Me:  Like a deer?

Charlie:  Yes.

Me:  What do people eat at Thanksgiving?

Charlie:  Giving leaves.

Me:  Do you know what a turkey is?

Charlie:  It's a chicken.

Me:  Do you like pie?

Charlie:  No, only my friends do.

Me:  What's your friend's favorite pie?

Charlie:  Lemon.  

Me:  What are you most thankful for?

Charlie:  Max-- no, I mean, lonely kids.  I thank you for lonely kids.  

Me:  Do you know any lonely kids?

Charlie:  No.  

Me:  Do you know who Charlie Brown is?

Charlie:  Yes.

Me:  Who?

Charlie:  Me.


  1. Happy Thanksgiving, to my missing family abroad. Charlie, Charlie, I remember how we waited to hear your first word, never dreaming you'd grow up on the other side of the world. Remember we still share the same moon! See you in 16 days. Wahoo!

  2. love this one. i will eat more stuffing to honor you. xojw

  3. Great dialogue. Love how children see the world...lonely kids and the Mayflower with missiles. Thanks for the smile. Hope you had a nice day.

  4. Tiff are you on Twitter? I will post this adorable-ness.