Before diving into yet another dry, overcooked holiday fowl this week, I am going to give thanks for getting to attend an old fashioned, rockstar-worthy, hotel-room-destroying party last Sunday night.
We arrived kind of late and the two other party goers with me kept staring out the car window pouting because they thought we’d arrive too late to join in the fun. But after pushing my mommy-mobile close to the speed of sound, we finally made it to the parking lot of the hotel. The girls composed themselves admirably as they walked past the front desk trying to affect a bored, nonchalant look. “Who us? No, we’re not yet another group going up to room 213. Please don’t call the police or the fire marshal……”
Through the hotel room door, I could hear muffled screams and giggles which were quickly squelched when we knocked. The door was slowly opened a crack as the hostess peeked out to see who was in the hall. She swung it open wide when she saw us saying, “oh, good it’s you guys! I thought it was the hotel manager, telling us to be quiet….again.”
We walked in to chaos. There were empty pizza boxes littering the tables, half eaten and abandoned pieces of pizza and drinks lying on every other available space in the two bedroom suite. TVs were blaring, ignored, while the guests ran around jumping on the furniture, acting like they were wired for sound.
Despite being late, we arrived just in time to catch the chauffeured car over to the hotel next door, where the management, in deference to the star of the gig, let our group swim in their heated indoor pool, since it was about 40F outside. After the pool takeover, the ensemble then headed back to the room, where the party continued late into the night with everybody eventually crashing on the floor.
You may well ask why I’m thankful for such a wild bacchanal at the almost rocking-chair worthy age of 41. Didn’t I get the memo that drugs and wild parties were sooooo 1980′s? Yeah, I did, but when the drug of choice is leftover Halloween candy and all the crazy party people in the house are under 4 feet tall, I’ll make an exception to the rule.
You see, this party was to celebrate my five year old daughter’s best friend finally being finished with treatment for a scary tumor her mom, a doctor just finishing her training, found accidentally back in February. Both of the girls had a little cold, but when our little friend had some nausea in addition to her headache, her mom took an x-ray of her stomach and found an advance-stage cancer in her four year old little girl. Nine months later her chemo/surgery/radiation are completed and her blonde hair’s just starting to grow back in. She describes her scalp as feeling like a horse’s nose, soft and a little fuzzy.
So this Thanksgiving I want to pause and appreciate the miracle of a little life saved by modern medicine. I am thankful for all the people who slave away doing unheralded bench-work in basement labs to create medications that heal us. I am thankful for specialized hospitals that have the knowledge and trained professionals to support us when the bottom falls out from under what we thought- just that morning!- was an otherwise normal life. I am thankful to have friends like the moms in our little group, who have never thought twice about doing many special things, big and small, for a family faced with the ultimate horror. And last, I am thankful for my two daughters and the reminder not to take them for granted. Every smile, every pout, every lost tooth, every trip to the principal’s office, every dance recital, all the trips to the overpriced doll store, the long car rides with 50 potty breaks, the weekday mornings filled with frantic searches for books and folders. I am thankful for each and every one.