I just hit the start button on the dishwasher for the second time today. We filled it to the brim, both times, with the remnants of good food and a full table.
Today was the 26th day of my 25 day food detox. I saw the doctor yesterday, and told him I really wanted to eat my mom’s cornbread dressing. Among other things. He gave me a stern look, and told me to go ahead. Start again tomorrow.
So I ate, tiny amounts of everything with no regard to sugar or gluten or dairy.
And my gut is not so happy. But I tasted everything I put in my mouth, and to some degree – even though it was a full frontal assault and a barrage of tastes and flavors and inflammatory things that I’ve avoided for several weeks – I could tell what was good for me and what was not. Awareness is such a valuable tool, and I’m thankful for it.
Even though I keep burping.
But it’s not as if I did something horrible or fatal. There’s something about the fullness of family and friends and years of tradition that brings good health. And so I refuse to beat myself up or worry about not sticking to the program or feel the tiniest bit of guilt over what I ate today.
This is my life, and I get to choose, and I choose health and good fuel for my body, except on this day when I chose to savor the taste of my history and my memories and a shared sense of the community that is my family.
We had all the kids, and my parents, and Travis and his mom, and Max, and our new friend Sam from church, and two tables – one for the kids and one for the grownups, except we’re all so grown up now that it was more like a table for the “seasoned” folks and one for the fresher faces. We had new tablecloths that will be part of my traditions, and my mom’s good stoneware came from my cabinets to the table this year and looked beautiful. We had candles and Shannon’s sweet potatoes and Daniel’s dump cake and Sarah’s peanut butter pie and Bitsy’s green bean casserole and Mom’s turkey breast and cornbread dressing and giblet gravy and we burnt the rolls, like we do every year. We stood in a circle, held hands and gave thanks. We sampled lemon pie and cherry pie and pecan pie from a cast iron skillet while we went around the room one at a time, doing our “Thankful for…” tradition.
I am thankful this year for my home, for my husband who refused to settle for anything less than awesome for it’s heart – our kitchen; for daughters that are well and good in lives away from home and yet still want to come home. Thankful for my parents, who guard their health and are strong and here. Thankful for my sons, who are becoming amazing young men. Thankful for Max, and Travis, and the way I am learning to love each of them, although it feels dangerous at times. Thankful for Bitsy and her friendship. Thankful for the man who calls me his wife, and his steadfast love and commitment to our family.
I am thankful indeed, for second and third chances and a life full of grace.