This November got off to a tricky start, for many of us. And the Thanksgiving holiday was, maybe, feeling like more of a hurdle to get over than a happy destination point. The kickoff to a season that suddenly felt less warm and bright.
But we dug deep and soon we were planning our annual Thanksgiving Family Feast with even more enthusiasm than usual at BCS.
We made lists. We made invitations. We shopped, we prepped.
We gathered staff and parents in to the kitchen one chilly night at closing time and baked pies, tarts, and pumpkin breads.
|amazing pumpkin pies|
We made sure to invite everyone, including alumni and community friends.
And then, we cooked. All day long. Sarah and I prepped three turkeys and puzzled over when they should enter the ovens and how long we should roast them - like we do every year. We - along with teachers and preschoolers - peeled mountains of potatoes and cubes loaf after loaf of bread to homemade stuffing.
We laughed in the kitchen with the parents and friends who showed up to mash huge pots of potatoes, make gravy from scratch, chop carrots and celery, set tables, and oversee the turkey preparations.
We celebrated the return of last year's stellar turkey carver, a lovely BCS mom.
Then, around 5pm, the doors opened and hungry friends began to stream in. As folks filled their plates and began to fill the seats it was almost as if you could feel relief rising in the room.
Here we all were, together. Our community doing what it does so well, no matter the circumstance.
We cooked together, we shared a beautiful meal, we had conversations with friends and strangers.
We hugged. We held each other's babies, and we marveled at how tall the big kids had grown.
With our actions, we reaffirmed the values we always come back to at BCS for comfort, for direction, for celebration.
We know that love - that unconditional positive regard - is powerful, and transformative.
We know that good food helps.
We know that a truly strong community supports everyone.
As I looked out on the busy noisy room from the kitchen I saw this all at work.
At Family Dinner, you'll probably pass the butter to the parent sitting next to you at the table who doesn't speak your language, but who's kid has a cube next to yours. You'll clean up a milk spill together and laugh about what a circus dinner with toddlers can be.
There is decency, acceptance, dignity, and love in each of these connections, these tiny interactions. In fact, they are what hold us together in difficult times. And as I watched them unfold all around the room I felt immeasurably grateful for all the places like BCS, where these connections are happening every day.
We will be here, supporting each other with love, compassion, and good food, at Thanksgiving time and always.
Love to you.