I’m a Turkey, Baby

Anna Decker, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Thanksgiving dinner 2000.  

After enjoying the traditional Thanksgiving feast, my parents relaxed on the couch in my Aunt Patty’s house. As the tryptophan kicked in, my dad, his sister, her kids, and their spouses joyfully exchanged stories of their childhood, with You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown playing on the tv as background noise. My mother laughed as she let her nieces and nephews put their hands on her stomach, as they patiently waited to feel a kick from the child. The kicks were coming more often now and she knew in the back of her head the moment she’d been waiting for would be coming any second. My aunt announced dessert and all the kids made a dash towards the kitchen and my mom waddled in slowly after them. With an uneasy feeling, she passed on the cookies and pie that was offered to her. She brushed it off, assuming she had merely overindulged, as we all often do, during dinner. Noticing his wife’s obvious mood shift, my dad started the goodbyes and they headed home to get to bed early. Later that night, my dad woke up to my mom shaking his shoulder whispering in a nervous voice that she did not feel right. Not wanting to take any chances, they took the drive to the hospital only to find out that it was time. She was going into labor.

This is a story that is told every year at my thanksgiving table. Being a “turkey baby” has always been something that has added that much more joy to the holiday that celebrates love and thankfulness for family and friends. In addition to the apple and pumpkin pies, we have a cake with candles to celebrate, not only mine, but all of the November birthdays in my family including my cousin, dad, and grandma. This is a tradition I hold close to my heart, knowing it’s not a normal part of the customary family Thanksgiving.

The meaning of Thanksgiving is different in every individual’s mind. To some, they use the holiday to celebrate their religion, thanking their god for the food on the table. And to others, it’s solely about the feast, spending hours cooking turkey and baking pumpkin bread with their loved ones. As Marcel says from You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown,  “Thanksgiving is more than eating, Chuck. You heard what Linus was saying out there. Those early Pilgrims were thankful for what had happened to them, and we should be thankful, too.” We should just be thankful for being together. I think that’s what they mean by ‘Thanksgiving,’ Charlie Brown.”


* photo via Google Images under the Creative Commons license