It's December 1! The countdown has begun! Today is the day we start using our Advent calendars. The tree is up and twinkling with lights. The wreath is hung. The halls aren't decked yet, but they're getting there.
I want to share a special triumph from this past week, but it involves a story. A story about my middle son, Preston. Preston is a giant of a boy--6'8" in his sock feet. Here he is this past spring, all dressed up for the Spring Formal:
Preston is big and strong and healthy. But the healthy part is something that we don't take for granted. You see, in April 2008, Preston was not healthy. In fact, his heart was most decidedly not healthy. At the age of 14, Preston had to have open-heart surgery. I'll never forget that day: surgeons at Duke removed Preston's ascending aorta and replaced it with a polyester graft and replaced his aortic valve with a stainless steel valve.
Preston's always had a heart of gold. Now he has one of gold and stainless steel and polyester. We tell him that he's the Six Million Dollar Man.
Preston came through the surgery brilliantly. He was released from the hospital after five days. But he was very weak. Friends gave him magazines and books and movies to help him pass the time. But he was too weak to concentrate on any of those things. He could sit up just long enough to watch a short show on TV, and then he would fall asleep again.
So all during that recovery process, guess what Preston watched? Day after day, as he regained his strength, he watched episodes of Alton Brown's Good Eats. He had episodes recorded on the DVR, and he simply scrolled through all the recorded shows. He'd watch one, then sleep for an hour, then watch another one.
The good news is that Preston recovered well enough to be able to rejoin his class at school and finish his freshman year. Last year at this time, I found the perfect Christmas present for him. We snapped this photo on Christmas morning:
Yep. Good Eats on DVD. He was a happy boy.
Last week, Preston cooked our Thanksgiving turkey. All by himself. Well, he and Alton did it together. Preston pulled out his copy of I'm Just Here for the Food and watched a couple of episodes of Good Eats for direction, and he proceeded to brine and roast the BEST turkey we've ever had. Honestly. I'm usually responsible for cooking the bird, but I admit that his was better than mine have ever been.
And as we tucked into that delicious bird, you can imagine how thankful we were.
I'm glad that Thanksgiving comes just before Christmas. It's a good thing for me to enter this holiday season fresh from a time of giving thanks.
Grace to you,