Thanksgiving always spawns family drama, right? I hear horror stories from friends about parents who get into knock-down drag-outs, uncles who get wasted, young cousins who trash the house as if they were sorority boys. Someone is always supposed to end up crying at the end of the evening…I think it’s a turkey day rite of passage in many families.
Not usually in ours, though. We are probably the world’s most boring T-day revelers. If someone drops cranberry sauce on their new sweater and curses aloud at the table, that is serious action in our holiday annals.
And it looked like this Thanksgiving would be no different. I spent most of the day prepping and cooking Tom-Turkey and enjoying the feel of the dough as I kneaded the homemade yeast rolls. We headed over to my moms and enjoyed a relaxing evening with plenty of stories and laughter to go along with the stuffing. All was as wonderfully dull and drama-free as usual.
So imagine my surprise when we got home and Uber walked into the kitchen and broke down into tears. The remainder of the bird just happened to be sitting out on the oven for me to pick off any last turkey leftovers, and the sight of the withering carcass had quite an interesting effect on my sensitive 14-yr-old. Suddenly, he could visualize Tom in all his gobbledly glory, strutting around the farm, and bothering no one in particular, when WHAMMO – – turkey fricassee.
This was not a short-lived moment of empathy on his part. Uber was visibly upset for quite some time afterward, and we had a long drawn out conversation where he explained his need to become a true vegetarian. He had been thinking about it for some time now, it seems, and the turkey carrion on the counter had just pushed him over the edge.
I guess this didn’t come as much of a shock. Uber had a similar experience at the age of seven, where the sight of meat would make him physically ill, and he went veg for a little over a year. This is a kid who really feels things strongly. He has a passion for justice, the sanctity of life, environmentalism, reducing consumerism and waste, and the list goes on. This is a young man who wants to change the world…one turkey at a time.
So, it was a bit of Thanksgiving drama I hadn’t bargained for – – a son who knows himself enough to stand up for what he believes. Who feels so strongly about something that he is willing to buck the familiar and head into uncharted territory. Who is passionate about his convictions.
Now if that isn’t something to be thankful for, then I don’t know what is.