Molly just loves when there's a reason to celebrate and family converges on the Shire. She wants to be apart of the whole thing, from the cooking and setting the table, to listening in on the adults stories. Oliver likes to lend his "brute strength" to the event, helping to lift wood for the fire. Watching them both, I remember what that felt like as a child, how safe it all felt. "You mean, all these people love me?"Now that we're just across the street, Molly and Oliver spent most of the morning over at my Aunt Denise's house while I baked 3 different pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving(they all smelled delicious)! Being amongst all the bustle, fighting for space both physically and verbally. Try as you might to enter the loud conversations, you may never be heard. Denise compared it to the game Whack A Mole, you've just gotta be patient, then.............. HIT HIM! It's not for everyone, even I get overwhelmed and need to get away for a moment, regain my strength. At my Grandma's, I would sit in the stairwell off the kitchen listening to the muffled laughter, feeling the pulse of the family. The phone on the kitchen wall would ring and someone would answer, stretching the long curly cord around the corner to sit on the stairs to hear better. Having been discovered, I would get up and rejoin the happy chaos. There is not a stairwell to sit in anymore, so I stepped outside for a breather and there it was, the pulse. The laughter, loud conversation and games continued. Standing under the stars, alone, in the dark cold of November, I felt like a little girl again. "You mean, they all love me?"I am thankful for my family.