I'm thankful for my wonderful family. I'm thankful that we always say "I love you" before we part ways or hang up the phone. I'm thankful that we hug and kiss, that we can be emotional and affectionate and not be embarrassed by it.
I love my mom, who gets tipsy on a few glasses of wine and shares stories from her childhood in Serbia. I love that she puts old tapes into the deck of our home stereo and fills the house with a foreign language. I love that she invited her friend, Watson, a soldier she works with, to have dinner with us... I love that she calls him her adopted son. I love that he accepted. I love that my mom loves her kids - the ones she's birthed and the ones she's taken under her wing because they're far from home - so deeply, so fully, that she'd do anything for them. I love the way she looks at my dad, still so smitten after all these years.
I love my father, who sits back and laughs silently when my mom starts slurring her words. I love to hear him cracking jokes as he carves a huge turkey on the kitchen island, his glasses sitting on top of his head, making dents in his thick mane of salt and pepper hair. I love when he starts telling tales of the man he was before the kids were born, the stories of him and my mom traveling the world. I love when he stretches his arm out and puts it around my mom at the table. I love their life together.
I love my little brother, who can make me laugh until tears pour from my eyes. I love that he's not ashamed to tell me he loves me in front of his friends. I love that he sits next to me at the table, and understands exactly what I mean when I give him certain looks. I love that he's so kind, such a good young man.