My brother and I stand next to each other and silently brush our teeth in tandem. We make eye contact in the mirror as he makes a goofy face, and I try my hardest not to laugh the kind of laugh he wants me to -- the kind where I lose it and spit toothpaste everywhere. I attempt to hold it in as he makes a series of progressively stranger faces.

I think it’s those moments I love the most. The kind they can’t be replicated on a phone call while he walks to class, during a mid-afternoon skype date. I’m glad we get to share them again, even if it’s only for a couple days.

It’s Thanksgiving today and if you take the horrible history out of the picture I like the idea of taking a day to talk about gratefulness, hang out with the people you love, and eat a disgusting amount of mashed potatoes.

So here’s what I’m thankful for.

My mother also knows
what she is thankful for.
I’m thankful for this weird family get to spend this week with. For the late night talks with my brother and the horrible jokes from my mom and dad. The new knitted hat my grandma made me, and laughing as my nana tries to balance spoons on her nose. The cousins who I haven’t seen in months, and who at this point are almost terrifyingly tall—at least to me, at 4’10”, who still remembers when they were each born. The aunts and uncles who fill our house with laughter.

I’m thankful for the warm blankets on my bed, and the mountain of pillows I get to collapse on at night. I’m thankful for a good place to sleep, and a place to feel comfortable.

I’m thankful for stupid jokes and endless laughter. Horrible puns and quick one liners. Humor, and giggles and the people who crack me up, and make me laugh so hard that it’s physically painful. The kind of hurt that I don’t mind.

I’m thankful every time I log on to my computer, to messages from the friends who I never get to see. I’m thankful for “how are you doing?” emails and “I miss you!” texts and “here’s what’s happening in my life” phone calls. I’m thankful for the people who I love and who love me back, even when we can’t see each other face to face.

I’m thankful for the internet—for the way to connects people, and the way it lets me learn. For the blog I can publish and the videos I can watch, and all of the interesting articles I can read. For e-books and twitter and being able to make the gigantic world just a little bit smaller.

I’m thankful for the luck I have in life. To have a good, loving family. To have good food on the table, and warm clothing to wear. I have safety and reassurance that I’m going to, in the grand scheme of things be ok. I’m thankful for the privileges I have, and the people who help me realize those privileges, and work alongside of me to make things better, to create change.

I’m thankful for everyone who reads the things I write and encourages me to write more. Who edits my essays and proofreads my papers and comments on the work I’ve done. I’m thankful for the stories and blog posts and articles I get to read. I’m thankful for words, in a way that I don’t quite have to words to express.

Happy Thanksgiving, ya’ll. I hope yours is filled with as much goodness as mine. 

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