Usually on Thanksgiving, my thoughts go to the grandiose, like being grateful for perfect parents, or the incredible luck to be born in the “Land of the brave and home of the free,” or having had a wonderful husband, or working with great editors over the years.
Not this year. Today, all of my thanks are wrapped around the bright and shining little things that went into the delicious and sometimes idiotically human experience of growing up. Trivial things that made me laugh, or smile, or just stop in my tracks, take notice, and make a memory.
Since they are good things, I am putting them on a wish list to share with your children or grandchildren, or great grandchildren, or just stop a child on the street who is minding his own business, and say, “Hey. Kid. Did you ever …?”
So here is my Wish List of things that I hope some day every child will get the chance to do:
Go to the beach with your family and try to dig a hole in the sand to the other side of the world. In order to do this properly, you have to envision that after you break through to the other side, people will be walking around upside down, and the first thing you will see is a Chinaman’s feet.
Have a pen pal to whom you write with a real pen on real paper that you put in an envelope and mail far away, so that you have to wait for a real answer written by a real person, on real paper, that will arrive in an envelope with an exotic foreign stamp (Oh …the joys of anticipation!)
Ride your bicycle down a hill without a helmet and feel the wind in your hair.
Get a piece of chalk, draw a hopscotch grid on the sidewalk, and be the first to call out “Sky Blue!
Make a beanbag. It’s really easy. All you need is a needle, thread, a bit of fabric, and uncooked beans. And it’s fun to toss around. No kidding.
Make carnation flowers out of Kleenex and a bobby pin. Also easy. Also fun. Come on over. I’ll show you how.
Sit on the curb with a magnifying glass and kill ants with a beam of sunlight. Sickening, yes. But a rite of childhood.
Sit on the handlebars or the crossbar of your father’s bicycle when he is riding his bike. It is uncomfortable and dangerous, but makes a great memory of being with Dad.
Go to a Halloween party, enter the spooky House of Horrors, sick your hand in a bowl of cold brains, and laugh when you find out later that the “brains” were from a big can of spaghetti.
Get up early on a morning after it has snowed, walk to the top of a hill, look down at a pristine world, and feel as if your have been transported onto a beautiful Christmas card.