What Thanksgiving Means to Me — A post-elementary school perspective from one who is very grateful

I love Thanksgiving. For forever it has been my very favorite holiday; the anticipation of waking up on that Thursday morning when we didn't have to go to school, sitting on my parents’ bed and reveling in The Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade — while the smells of Thanksgiving dinner preparations were already underway. My brother was partial to the Bullwinkle and Underdog balloons, but I could not wait for the excerpts of Broadway shows that were performed on the street in front of the famed department store.

So there I am, my eleven-year old self, with my nose up against the screen of the 21” RCA positively flummoxed about how those singers sounded so great right there on the street. Even though, at that same moment, I was lamely mouthing the words to those same show tunes into my fake microphone / hairbrush, I hadn’t even considered the possibility that production numbers from my favorite shows — were lip sync’d? How could that be? Oh, the naiveté of youth.

Ok, so I couldn’t figure out the technicalities — I was, after all, eleven years old and not exactly an electronics prodigy (still can’t) — but I did know that I wanted to be a part of that thrilling theatrical world in some way. My colossal lack of talent would have prevented anything on the stage. But how thankful I am that in fact, I am a part of it.

At that time, the concept that Thanksgiving was about something more than an opportunity to consume stuffing and dessert, was foreign to me. I now welcome the excuse to stop and smell the roses long before lapsing into a tryptophan-induced coma.

Although I will always remain grateful for Thanksgiving carb amnesty, admittedly, this year's perspective will be a little different. While this past year has been one of personal loss, it has also been one of tremendous perspective and gratitude:

  • Gratitude for family, friends, colleagues and a community who have demonstrated love, generosity, and support beyond my wildest expectations;
  • Gratitude for a town so rich with talent and magic;
  • Gratitude that theatreWashington can help our colleagues in need and can bring the beauty of theatre to children that need it the most;
  • Gratitude for all the other possibilities that lay ahead with theatreWashington; and
  • Gratitude that the theatre was a place, after a time of great sorrow, where I could sit and just be myself, experiencing again what it is like to feel the wonder and the joys of being human.

But I would REALLY be thankful if my second and third helpings of oyster stuffing were miraculously metabolized. I do, after all, have priorities.