Giving thanks for dinosaurs and babies

I’m late to the Thanksgiving party. I was really tired when I got home last night and dozed off around 9 p.m.

But I am thankful.

We had a small crowd at our gathering — at least, according to Parlin numbers. We had between 30 and 40 people. But the great thing is that many of those people were toddlers or younger. And if there’s one thing Parlins love, it’s babies and little kids.

And this year’s crop of babies — two fresh ones showed up this year — were mellow and cooperative. That meant their parents could hand their darlings off to cousins, aunts and uncles and even great-aunts and great-uncles and actually eat a meal without an armful of squirm. And there were many of us eager to cuddle a cutie for 10 or 20 minutes before the next welcoming adult held out his or her arms.

The toddlers are great, too. How many 2-year-olds do you know who can not only identify a stegosaurus and a pterodactyl but also pronounce them correctly? Well, we’ve got one in the family who happened to have dinosaurs romping across his winter jacket. And he was more than happy to educate his dinosaur-illiterate great aunt.

And when not talking dinosaurs, there were lots of other topics of conversation. We talked books, British baking shows, technology, vintage Christmas and card games. And Therese put together a vacuum cleaner I had taken apart to clean and couldn’t get back together. Hey, don’t all of you bring along disassembled machines to your holiday gatherings?

That accomplished, Kathy fired up her computer and did a little online shopping for me. My new motto is, why do it myself when a willing sibling will do it for me.

This was a warm up for Christmas where we get a more complete family representation that edges toward 60 people. I don’t know if dinosaur boy will show up for that gathering, but if he does, I’m going to search for T-Rex on his dinosaur jacket.




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