I have a wonderful American wife(ish.) We're not hitched because neither of us believe in idea; we are life partners raising amazing kids together. Today, we celebrated American Thanksgiving in the style that, as we often wonder, makes us curious why reality TV producers aren't chasing us down for a contract.
We're both sick. She with a nasty cold. Me with a flu.
I locked myself out of the house on the first blizzard of our winter season and had to drive on very treacherous roads across our excessively sprawling city to retrieve one from one of the aforementioned wonderful kids at his school. This, with two hungry kids in tow and a friend who I haven't seen in months.
On arriving home, one wonderful kid who is having some struggles right now bit the friend, who had kindly brought him some snacks to get him through the monumental car ride which coincided with the time he expects lunch.
Prior to locking myself out, I flushed my family ring (birthstones of ours and all our children, one of the few important material things to me,) down the toilet. Of course, I realized too late. After I'd locked myself out of the house.
I also had the far from pleasurable experience of sitting down at my computer to input orders for a fundraiser at our daughter's school, only to have a bed bug crawl out of an order form. I do not think I can fully explain the panic or trauma of this. I killed it. And found another in the order.
And then of course, our increasingly conservative, deceptive, immoral government, via the most recent awful Premier, Jim Prentice announced he was thwarting a very important Motion brought to the Legislative Assembly to protect sexual minority and gender variant students in schools. Of course, he didn't have details. Just that instead of protecting vulnerable students he would make it possible for them to go to court if they are discriminated against. Wait times on Human Rights Tribunals are currently over 2 years. So IF someone has the strength to fight a legal battle AND the money to do so, s/he can. He'll add sexual orientation as a right to the Alberta Human Rights Act--SOMETHING THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE WHEN SEXUAL ORIENTATION WAS ADDED TO THE CANADIAN CHARTER OF RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS IN 1998, a decision made based on a case that occurred IN ALBERTA. And Stephen Mandel, former mayor of my city, stood by his side in support, showing all he ever did when in mayoral office was offer lip service and try to gain votes through his Pride involvement. All sickening. All aimed at undoing the work of an MLA who actually cares about people, not about being a politician, and put months and more hours than can be counted into producing a Motion that would help some of our most vulnerable students.
But it's Thanksgiving and though I managed to have one not so positive as I may have liked, I have a lot to be thankful for. And thankful I am. I am thankful that I have a wife(ish) who loves and supports me. I am thankful to have four great kids who are (biting aside) filling the world with a whole lot of positive. I am thankful to have a friend who could forgive a child who bit her. I am thankful for friends who work through difficult times with me and offer support. I am grateful that I have potable tap water, a home to live in, two cats to cuddle, healthy, nutritious food to eat, and the opportunity to work for that MLA who never lets up, always keeps up the fight for what is right no matter what the Conservative throw her way. I am grateful for so much privilege that I took for granted before I lived in the third world: the previously mentioned drinkable tap water, less pollution than so many places, and enough mental health to keep going in this world and keep trying to change the wrongs... for these and many other things I am thankful today.