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Plenty of thanks to go 'round and 'round

November 26, 2005|By CINDY TRANE CHRISTESON

There's always something for which to be thankful.

-- CHARLES DICKENS

Are you tired of turkey yet? Have you had your fill of mashed potatoes, gravy and stuffing? Maybe you even cringe at the thought of any more pumpkin pie and whipped cream, and you'd really rather pass on leftovers of any kind.

When you read this, I'd guess that there is a good chance you have had more than enough of the very food that smelled and tasted so delicious just a few days ago.

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The turkey that was once so large and well stuffed has left you rather stuffed.

I remember once hearing a man say, "I've had enough Thanksgiving everything to last me for at least another year," and perhaps you feel the same.

Sunday, I sat in the back seat of our son-in-law Ryan and daughter Kelly's car. I had the best spot, in between our two granddaughters.

On one side sat cute and chatty 20-month-old Mary, dressed in a flowered turtleneck and blue jumper; and on the other side slept cute and tiny 2-week-old Aubrey, dressed in plenty of pink.

There are several guarantees in life if you spend much time with Mary. One is that you will smile a lot. Another is that she will ask you to sing, "The Wheels on the Bus Go 'Round and 'Round." She is well acquainted with the conventional verses and corresponding hand motions that include the wheels, the wipers, the horn, the driver, the people, the babies and the mommies, but she has added verses that include just about everybody she knows, with their own unique word or action.

If you sing with Mary, she expects you to know the people, and what they are known for. For instance, one toddler friend of hers says "Mamamamama" and another says "Dadadada." Mary calls me CeCe (my initials are C.C. and it is easier to say than Grandma), and when she says "CeCe" the appropriate phrase is: "CeCe on the bus says 'You're so big ... " and the corresponding hand motion includes hands raised up high.

Sure enough, Sunday on the way to church, Mary and I sang that song.

Soon after we finished, she folded her hands, as she does when it is time to pray. I followed her lead, folded my hands, and I began by thanking God for a new day and for Mary. She then listed "Baby Aubrey," "Mommy," "Daddy" and "CeCe." In between each name, she waited for me to say, "Thank you God for ... " She continued by mentioning most of the people she knows, who just happened to be the very same people we'd sung about.

After we went through the list, she pointed out the window. I looked at her, smiled, and said, "You're right Mary, we're thankful for the trees and the flowers and the sky too." Soon we added that we were thankful for houses, cars, her shoes, and her doll Nona.

By the time we arrived at church, I was feeling very thankful. By the time you read this, there may be no more room for turkey. But when it comes to thankfulness, there's always room for more.

And you can quote me on that.

* CINDY TRANE CHRISTESON is a Newport Beach resident who speaks frequently to parenting groups. She may be reached via e-mail at cindy@onthegrow.com or through the mail at 537 Newport Center Drive, Box 505, Newport Beach, CA 92660.

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