This Thanksgiving morning in Napa Valley the little ones are tracing fall leaves with Crayolas. Dad and my brothers are watching some football. And the kitchen is buzzing with activity.
There’s an apple pie in the oven, and a big pot of corn and potato chowder on the stove top.
The table is beautifully set for our annual Thanksgiving dinner at my dad and stepmom’s.
But my favorite part about this scene is the cast of characters that comes together. A rather unlikely cast by most standards.
I’ve heard it said that you can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your family.
My family proves that wrong.
You see, yesterday my boys and I went on a wine-tasting bike tour with my Mom and my stepdad, along with my stepsister and her husband and kids.
But the cool thing is that my stepsister Jen is the daughter of my stepmom, not my stepdad.
In other words, Jen went on a bikeride with her mom’s husband’s first wife. And my mom went with her ex-husband’s second wife’s daughter.
And in my family, this is normal.
I love being a part of this family.
I am so grateful that our parents don’t make us pick between them.
That everyone comes together in love and connection.
That my stepmom is so gracious in opening her home to my mom.
When we engage in the simple practice of feeling grateful for the gifts in our lives, we allow ourselves to be fully present. To open our awareness to a great bounty of blessings.
People say I’m really lucky, that this kind of family dynamic is rare.
And they’re right. I am tremendously lucky.
But it doesn’t have to be rare.
This family dynamic didn’t happen by accident.
This happens because each person involved has chosen love over fear.
Harmony over discord.
Connection over division.
This family is together by choice.
And today, I am most grateful for being a part of it.
Happy Thanksgiving friend. May your day and your year be filled with feelings of gratitude, abundance and love.