The Turkey Olympics
Ted Spiker coauthored You: The Owner's Manual with Mehmet Oz, M.D.
For most of my boys' lives, we've celebrated Thanksgiving the same way: with grandparents, relatives, and friends in our home. My wife, Liz, blankets the table with the bird, the sides, and her family's recipe of Irish soda bread. And when all is said and done—the dishes cleaned, the waistbands compromised—we all appreciate the celebration of food and family.
But last Thanksgiving, I snuck out of the house. With thousands of calories waiting to be consumed, it seemed like the perfect morning to log a ten-mile run. I completed the miles, but something just wasn't right: I ran alone.
That's when I decided to contribute more to our Thanksgiving than just cutting the blemishes from the raw potatoes. I want to play. I want to sweat. I want to (mildly) pull a groin. And I want to do so with my boys.
Starting this year, we'll sign up for a turkey trot, or earn our 6 p.m. calories with a 9 a.m. game of hoops. It'll be a new tradition, one I hope they pass on to their families.
I want them to be thankful not only for what they put into their bodies, but also what they get out of them.
The Wishing Tree
Janene Mascarella wrote about the growing population of “midlife” moms in the September issue of Parenting.
It began when I was in the third grade. I would carefully creep down the hall and turn on the Christmas tree lights. I'd lie beside it and make a wish. They started off so simple. A baby doll; a Barbie dream house. As I got older, they grew deeper. A call from a boy in my class. And more meaningful. Please say it's not malignant. The ritual was all mine. Until last year.
“Come with me,” I said, scooping my 7-year-old daughter from her bed. “What are we doing?” she asked, half-asleep. While I was making my wish that night, it dawned on me that my daughter was deep enough to appreciate this. This was a girl who, at 5 years old, said she was waiting to be born because she always wanted to meet me.
I placed two couch pillows on the floor, guided her to look deep into the blinking lights, and make a private wish. She softly giggled, squeezed my hand, and insisted we tell each other what we wished for because we could help each other's wish come true. We breathed our wishes in each other's ears. Me: A safe family ski trip to Lake Placid. Her: A supersize stuffed teddy bear. Yikes! That was not on her list.