A Little Thanksgiving

Long, slow weekends are never quite so long and slow now that we share them with small children. Nevertheless we did our best over Thanksgiving, and it was pretty darn nice.

For starters, we reintroduced the kids to football. Thanksgiving may be the one time a year that they see football (sorry, Dad), and so it’s important that they get their full annual dose. This year Ryan hung out and watched the game with his grandpa more than Nathan did. Sometimes he really seemed to get into it. And most importantly, we taught them both to say “Go, Irish!” on the night of the most critical game.

Nathan spent more time hanging out with Dave, working on his laptop. Dave has been looking into programming workbenches for young kids, and Nathan is a very good test subject.

Both of the boys have seemed rather fascinated by their uncle Peter when they’ve met him. I’m not sure why — maybe it’s because, even in a world filled with big people, he seems especially towering. Maybe it’s because he’s kind of quiet. Maybe they recognize a hidden depth to his personality, or maybe he just sits still on the couch enough to be an easy target. In any case, Ryan tried particularly hard to attach to him this time around. He spent a lot of time next to his uncle, sometimes engaged in long, meandering conversations (the kind that don’t actually require much response, conveniently), and sometimes helping him read his book.

We had a beautifully crisp, cold day to go see the salmon running, something that I can’t remember ever doing before. On the way there we tried to explain to the kids the significance of what we were about to see: the salmon being born in streams, making their way to the ocean, living there for years before finally coming all the way back up the streams in order to lay their own eggs. They listened quietly until I added, as an afterthought “And then they die.” “No,” Ryan told me immediately. “Mothers lay their eggs and then they can’t die.” (He’s pretty sensitive right now to the idea of babies being without their mothers.)

He may have revised his opinion once he saw the dead fish in the water; I’m not sure. They enjoyed seeing the fish swimming upstream, but I don’t think they were as impressed as the adults, all of whom probably had more sympathy for the effort. Nathan liked me reading the signs to him, Ryan liked digging in a patch of sand he found, and both of them liked running through the cold, wet forest.

My photography efforts were horribly biased toward my own children, and pretty slim on the other people that we got to enjoy. But I did get a couple shots of our first ever visit with Mazey. She is, I think I may be forgiven for saying, pretty exceptionally cute. Nathan loved her and wanted to hold her in his lap, which Mazey was way too active for. Ryan was fascinated by her too, but mainly expressed that by trying to push her around. This is pretty typical for him right now. He has a while to go yet before he understands how to woo women.

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