So, tomorrow’s the big day. I’m getting ready to head north and hunker down with the fam for the weekend, so I probably won’t be back around here until Monday.
Thanksgiving is one of my absolute favorite holidays. I mean, the food alone makes it worth a couple minutes of happy dance. But the one tradition that really makes the day feel right is watching the parade.
When I was a little kid, my parents would wake us all up to ensure that we were in front of the TV at nine. I would keep track of all the Broadway plays I wanted to put on my list of things to see as I danced along to the chosen songs of that year. My brother, sister and I would talk about how cool it would be to help hold one of the balloons. (And how it would be even cooler to let one go.)
Then, of course, there were the Rockettes. I was absolutely convinced that I was going to join that kick line one day (that was before I stopped growing in the seventh grade). I would watch them closely, try to mimic the moves. And then it occurred to me one year…maybe I wasn’t the only one with such dreams. Perhaps my dolls had been waiting for the opportunity as well.
I decided to let Dorothy (Wizard of Oz) go first. She did great, keeping time with the ladies on the screen. So, I thought, You know what? I bet you can kick even higher than them.
It was an understandable assumption. I had great faith in that Dorothy doll. But maybe a little bit misplaced.
I ripped her leg right off.
Believe me, no one was more shocked and horrified by this unfortunate accident than I. Well, I doubt poor Dorothy was thrilled.
I ran to my parents, doll and leg in hand. They did everything they could, but sadly the injury was just too great. She was a real trooper about it, though. Spending the following years awkwardly leaning against the Scarecrow on my dresser, basket and Toto still in hand. And she’s still around, resting comfortably in storage. Next to her leg. Which I saved in case there were ever any advances in doll leg reattachment.
The moral of this ridiculous story is not: Don’t play Rockettes with your dolls.
Of course that’s not it. That would be a horrible moral. You should totally play Rockettes with your dolls. Maybe you shouldn’t try to outdo the Rockettes with your dolls. Hubris is always a problem.
No, this is about what I’m thankful for. It’s been over fifteen years since that fateful Thanksgiving of Dorothy’s tragic Rockette amputation and not surprisingly my life is a little different now than it was then (not in terms of wanting to be a Rockette. That never fades). But, regardless of everything else that's different, tomorrow morning at nine I will be sitting in front of the TV with siblings who would still absolutely get on board with releasing balloons into the great unknown, parents who I can still turn to when I accidently rip the legs off of other areas of my life, and the knowledge that despite what happened, Dorothy never stopped smiling.
What are you thankful for this year?
Also, if you’re trying to decide on what to wish for over the wishbone this year, my sister and I always favored this one.