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Helicopters, Cattle, and Neapolitan Ice Cream


Snippets of dialogue at our Thanksgiving table.

Characters: Me, Peter, Tucker, Tyler, my Mom, and my Dad.
(But characters are not specified in the dialogue, so use your imagination.)

* * *

“What should be our Thanksgiving question this year?”

“I have one. How about ‘What are you thankful for?”

“Okay, let’s start with A, and we’ll go through the alphabet.”

“Or let’s just start. How about one free round where you just get to say what you’re thankful for?

“I’ll start. I’m thankful for Peter.”

“We know, Mom. Geez.”

“You’ve told us that a million times.”

“I didn’t know thankfuls were up for criticism.”

“Whatever. Hashtag Pete and Trish. We know.”

“I’ll tell him the private reasons later.”

“Moving on. I’m thankful for The Polar Express. It’s fun to be in that show, and I love it.”

“I’m thankful for the happiness I’ve seen in Tricia this whole year long.”

“I’m thankful for the Heyer family, because they’ve taught me everything I know.”

“Except that you learned a few things prior to one year ago, thank you very much.”

“Now let’s say things we’re thankful for that start with T.”

“I’m thankful for my mom.”

“That starts with M.”

“Fine. I’m thankful for Tricia.”

“I’m thankful for Tucker and Tyler, my two grandchildren who I am crazy about.”

“Good one.”

“I’m thankful for… tires. Because without them, I’d have to put my stuff in a box every day and push it to work.”

“I’m thankful for teachers. You guys have had good ones every single year, and I love partnering with them to help you become grownups who know what they need to know. So, teachers.”

“I’m thankful for my brother Tyler, who is my best playmate and my brother and the one person who will always play with me.”

“I’m thankful for toothpicks. Tyler, could you get me one?”

“Now the letter H.”

“I’m thankful for… hot dogs.”

“I’m thankful for… Happy birthdays. Because I’ve had some unhappy ones.”

“Like the year I turned 13.”

“Yes, that was an unhappy birthday for me.”

“Why, grandma?”

“Because we scheduled your mom’s birthday party on my birthday, so all the attention was on her again. Which was fine, but I decided I won’t do that again. I’d like for my birthday to happen on my birthday.”

“I’m thankful for the whole Heyer family.”

“You already said that.”

“I’m thankful for them again.”

“I’m thankful for helicopters.”

“You are?”

“Yes. Don’t judge me.”

“Oh! I just realized we started with T and now H, so we could spell Thanksgiving!”img_4143

“That’s a good idea for next year. I want a different letter.”

“Next year? Wait a year to spell Thanksgiving?”


“Okay, so what’s your better idea?”

“I just realized I don’t have one, so I’m arguing without a point.”

“Well, you have to pick the letter now.”

“Okay, I choose C. I’m thankful for… compromises.”

“I don’t even know what that means.”

“Well, how ironic, because that’s what it is to live with you my entire life. All compromises, all the time.”

“Let’s build each other up, shall we?”

“I love that she made us not spell Thanksgiving so we can instead choose the letter C and the word Compromise.”

“I’m thankful for … cattle.”


“What’s wrong with cattle? You like hamburgers, don’t you? And shoes?”

“I think the turkey sitting in the middle of this table wonders why it had to attend this party if you’re so thankful for cattle.”

“I’m thankful for coffee.”

“Right. And Starbucks, where you met Peter, blah-blah-blah.”

“Now things that start with N.”

“This is a weird way to spell Thanksgiving.”

“I’m thankful for Neapolitan ice cream.”

“Which I’ve never seen you eat, ever.”

“Well, still.”

“I’m thankful for Narnia. The closet and the forest.”

“I’m thankful for naps.”

“Oh! Good one!”

“That sign on the wall says, ‘The conversation at our table is always better than the food.’”

“I’m not sure that’s true today.”

“The food is seriously good, though.”

Tricia Lott Williford

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