Laughter. Shouts, snickers, bellows and hoots of laughter punctuated the Thanksgiving table we shared with our family of friends. Memories from decades ago, weeks ago, from yesterday, reared their pointy little heads and tickled funny bones around the arc of couples and kids with whom we have shared fourteen years of child-raising and growing up.
Before the meal we stood in a circle in the kitchen, revealing one by one the things we felt most grateful for. There were some chuckles as the six-foot-plus boys put food at the top of the list, but the sentiments of "family," "friend," "my Mom," "my chosen family," were so heartfelt I had to blink away sudden tears.
It's been too long since we sat together and laughed. Though family life is less physically stressful with teenagers, the pace of our calendars has accelerated and left fewer moments for bonding. Sharing a meal and swapping stories, feeling the ache of smiling cheeks and held-back tears - that's a Thanksgiving to be grateful for and to remember always.