I called to make our first ever Thanksgiving dinner reservation at. a. restaurant.

I’m pretty sure this is illegal in some families and states.

How many in your party?

As I explained that three of our diners were small and a booth would be great because they just fall through/off chairs, the voice on the other end began detailing booths and tables and how many could fit where as if he had arranged every space himself.

Something between his words made me ask if he was the owner and before he could finish saying yes my story came tumbling out.

We came there five years ago on Thanksgiving and now we are coming back.

I explained that day when we were sitting in the NICU and decided we couldn’t stomach one more night of hospital cafeteria food, especially not on Thanksgiving.

We gave ourselves permission to leave our incubator vigil in search of a decent meal and swore off every brightly lit fast food sign we passed.

I didn’t pause to ask if he even wanted to hear more or to take a breath as I explained that their restaurant was the first decent one we found after driving for ages. We were bringing our kids back this year to start a new tradition.

They have grown big enough to understand the story themselves.

What I left out was how sharply I still remember that evening, my husband and I struggling to be grateful. I looked down most of the meal, hoping tears would slide down my cheek instead of drop directly to my plate. Mark volleyed between trying to make me smile and marveling over the fact that we were eating real food.

I didn’t tell him that when we visit his restaurant on Thanksgiving, my children will most likely spill the salt or the sugar or please not a whole beverage and at least one of them will crawl under the table while the other dips a sleeve in gravy and talks way too loud. My husband and I will look at each other as we always do, but for once we won’t wonder what in the world we were thinking taking these hooligans to such a nice place.

We know exactly why they’re here.

holding preemies

Thanksgiving 2005

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours.

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  1. says

    I think that is a great new tradition. And, as I look at my house, still wrecked from hosting the big day, I think it is a very smart new tradition! Hope you had a lovely day! As lovely as it could be…
    Alexa (katbiggie) recently posted..Day 17

    • says

      I know that place too well. This is the first year I actually felt like I could be thankful and am (so far) not dreading Christmas. I will be thinking of you and hoping you can find some moments of peace. xo

    • says

      Thanks, we had such an amazing time this year and they really did spill the salt and drop things under the table and on and on and on but it was perfect.

  2. says

    I love your new Thanksgiving tradition. I struggle with Thanksgiving (and most holidays) because nothing feels quite right after your child / children have died. I feel guilty but especially since Sawyer died (most likely b/c he was born the week before Thanksgiving and died Christmas night) I pretty much hate the holidays and wish I could wake up in mid January. I try really hard to smile through the holidays but sometimes I crack.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you all and thank you for sharing with us. xoxo
    Lanie recently posted..Thankful 2012