Happy Thanksgiving - Drabble
The young girl sat at the kitchen table, face scrunched in concentration as she carefully traced around the hand that was splayed on the paper in front of her. To look at her, it would seem that this task was one of the most important things in the world and it had to be absolutely perfect. Cocking her head for a moment, she studied the outline before choosing a color from the markers beside the paper. Pulling the cap off, she leaned over once more, her tongue poked ever so slightly out the side of her mouth as she painstakingly added details to the design she had made. Orange here, brown there, a little yellow and then the black for the name.
“Nana?” She lifted her head once more as the black marker hovered over the now autumn colored picture that had gone from the shape of her hand to what somewhat resembled a turkey. “How do you spell ‘Mommy?’” She asked, dark eyes serious as she waited for her grandmother to answer. She didn’t want to mess this up. Daddy’s turkey was already finished, cut out and placed in his spot at the table. So were Nana’s and her own. Mommy’s had to be just as pretty. Maybe prettier. That was why it was last. It took the most time.
Georgiana turned from the oven where she was checking on the actual turkey to smile at her granddaughter before carefully spelling out the word so that she could write it down in her childish scrawl. Each letter required the utmost attention and once it was finished Judy studied it for another moment as if looking for any mistakes. Finally she smiled, seeming satisfied with her results. Capping the marker she picked up the scissors and began to cut out the design so that it could be placed in its rightful spot.
“Those are beautiful, Judy.” Georgiana smiled again as she moved over to the table to look more closely at the place markers. “Your mom and dad will love them.” She spoke with absolute certainty because she loved hers and she knew that her daughter and her husband would feel the same. They adored anything that Judy made for them and these were even more special because they were made for family time. Something they didn’t get as much of as they would like. She actually anticipated tears at the effort both she and Judy had put into this meal, this holiday. Happy ones, to be sure, but tears nonetheless.
“They’ll be here soon, won’t they?” Judy asked as she continued to cut, her eyes on the paper, but her focus divided between what her hands were doing and what her grandmother was saying. Her parents had promised to be home today and they never lied. Even when they were away, helping people like they did, they always came home when they said they would. She couldn’t imagine a time when they wouldn’t.
Nodding, Georgiana turned back to the side dishes she was preparing. The turkey wasn’t quite finished, but she wanted the timing to be perfect so that nothing was cold when it was. In a way, she was trying to make this day as perfect as Judy was. Ed and Lorraine deserved that. They were away from home so often, helping other families with the things that most people either ran away from or disbelieved entirely. They had originally hoped to return home the day before, but that hadn’t been possible. This case was taking longer than usual and that left no time for Lorraine to prepare Thanksgiving for her family. Which was why she and Judy were doing that work. They wanted to surprise her upon her return.
“They should be.” She answered Judy’s question, stirring the mashed potatoes and checking the gravy before peeking at the turkey one last time. Everything was almost ready and if Ed and Lorraine arrived when they were supposed to then everything really would be perfect. “Will you finish setting the table when you’re done there?” She requested with a smile, letting Judy help with the preparations as much as possible. It was a team effort after all. She had gotten the glasses from the cupboard and left them on the counter where Judy could reach, helping her to carry the plates and such to the table a few minutes before.
Judy nodded, snipping one last time before she held up her creation. The smile on her face said she was quite pleased and she placed it on the table in the one empty spot before scooping up the small pieces of paper and dropping them into the trash. Putting the scissors away, she moved to lay out the plates and then to retrieve the glasses, making sure everything was perfectly even and identically placed in each setting and that the turkeys were visible beside the plates.
When she finished, she stepped back from the table and looked it over. “Do you think they’ll be surprised? Do you think they’ll like it?” She asked hopefully. She wanted so badly to do something that would make her parents happy. They had been gone longer than usual this time and they didn’t always come back as happy as she would like. Maybe this time they could change that. She didn’t fully understand what it was that they did except help people. And since they always helped others, she wanted to help Nana help them this Thanksgiving. She was big enough. She could do it.
“I think they will love it.” Georgiana replied honestly, kissing the top of Judy’s head before she helped her with the finishing touches on the table and then moved to set all the dishes of food on the table before taking out the turkey itself. “Hurry and wash up before they get here.” She urged once everything was set as she liked, ushering the girl out and to the bathroom down the hall. One last look over the table and she was smiling because it really had turned out wonderful. Now all they needed was the rest of their family.
Judy scurried off down the hall to wash her hands and make sure she looked okay while Georgiana finished up a few cleaning touches and waited for her return. It only took a few minutes before the girl was hurrying back, hair freshly brushed, dress smoothed and an anticipatory smile on her face as she moved to join her grandmother once more. “Are we ready?” She asked, looking things over, quite happy with what she saw.
Offering Georgiana a smile, she shifted her weight a little impatiently. She wanted her parents to come home now so that they could see. Oh, she also wanted to eat all the enticing food that had been placed on the table, but she wanted more for them to do so together. Her head jerked up and her eyes widened when she hard car doors slam outside and she had to physically stop herself from running to the window to look out. Shooting a look at her grandmother, she grinned and picked up the turkey she had painstakingly made for her mother and hurried to the hall where she would be able to see her parents come through the front door.
When the door opened, she bounced on her feet a little, waiting for that first glimpse. Lorraine entered first, one of their bags in her hand and her attention behind her. She looked tired when she turned to look into the house, her eyes not sparkling as much as Judy was used to seeing, even as Ed followed her into the house, setting two more bags down just inside the door. Somehow managing not to immediately leap at them, Judy waited for them to hang their coats before approaching. Then it was all she could do not to throw herself into their arms. “Mommy! Daddy!” She couldn’t help the excitement as she rushed to greet them, grinning when she was pulled into a hug first by her father and then her mother.
It didn’t escape her notice that Lorraine held on a little longer than usual, a little tighter, and she made no attempt to pull away. She had missed her mother and in her arms was somewhere she always wanted to be. “Nana and I have a surprise for you.” She revealed when Lorraine finally released her enough to allow her to speak without being muffled.
“You do?” Lorraine was smiling now. Still tired, but smiling. That was a plus. That was the whole point of today. Nodding, Judy held up the turkey in her hands. “I made this for you.” She added proudly, watching as her mother’s smile grew.
“Oh, it’s perfect!” Lorraine exclaimed, meaning every word. “Thank you.” She was still smiling when Judy took her hand and gestured for Ed to follow as she began to lead the way to the kitchen. “That’s not all. We have a bigger surprise for you, too!” Her excitement was returning and she couldn’t wait to see their faces. “Ready, Nana?” She called out as they approached, waiting for the confirmation before stepping into the doorway and turning to face her parents. “Happy Thanksgiving!”
She didn’t actually say ‘ta-da,’ but it was clear in her tone and her expression. She was quite proud of the meal they had come up with and she wasn’t disappointed. Her parents were both definitely surprised and both were speechless for a moment, which she hoped was a good thing. Her smile slipped a little when she saw the tears in her mother’s eyes and she wondered what they had done wrong. Wasn’t this what they wanted? Nana had said they would.
Lorraine knelt to pull her daughter into her arms once more, hugging her tightly. When she finally stood, the tears were still there but she was smiling once more. “Do you know what I’m thankful for?” She asked Judy after a moment, watching as the girl shook her head, not sure what was going on. “You. Your dad. Your Nana. My family.” Judy’s smile was returning now. “Happy Thanksgiving, baby. This is amazing.”
Lorraine Rita WarrenClairvoyant Protector
"What I'm grateful for."