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Oh yeah.  It’s Thanksgiving week.  Sure, we’re hosting.  That means what you think it does.  Tons of cleaning, shopping, cleaning, planning, cleaning, collecting (chairs, tables, decorations), cleaning, organizing menus, cleaning, and cleaning.  Then, it’s gameday…er, the holiday.  Do I remember all of the Thanksgiving Day bird prep mistakes I made last year…and the year before, and the year before, that I always think, “man, I have got to write this down so I don’t do it again next year.”?  No, not a chance.  Oh, it will come to me about 10:30 Thursday morning.  I’ll be in the basement debating if drywall screws or machine screws have less coating and would poison everyone less as I seal up the bird flap or debate which knife or hacksaw works best on getting rid of the neck bone, “or, is it already gone and I’m just mutilating this bird?”  It’s not even so much what you need to do to make the bird right, it’s trying to remember what you did wrong, so you don’t do it again.  I know I screwed something up with stuffing last year.  It was too much liquid (or was it too little…as in none) for the “in bird” stuffing last year.  Hmmmm, hard to say.

No, I’m not talking about all that stuff…ing.  I’m not even referring to the perils of cleaning (Rachel has that on lock down, she’s golden).  Could I throw my back out this year like I did two years ago when we were moving the dining room table into the living room and the living room furniture into the dining room?  Sure.  Will I?  No, I won’t let the padded ottoman top hurt me ever again.  It’s not even keeping the right mindset of being thankful for so much instead of working the day away, that burdens my existence this week.  No, I’ve got that perspective in the right place as well (what’s the over/under betting line of number of minutes Trey plays on my phone on Thursday morning alone?  I’ll go with 75 minutes).  Whatever happens with him down the road I will burn a mental snapshot into my brain of him watching the parades and yelling, “FRESH BEAT BAND YO GABBA GABBA SNOOPY!!!”…as he holds onto my phone.  That is already locked and loaded.  No, here is my burden for this (and just about every) Thanksgiving these past several years.  No, it’s not the homeless or the lonely people either.

It’s…the nap.  You know, the post meal nap.  You’re done, you’ve eaten (and maybe partaken of a glass of Kendall Jackson Grand Reserve Chardonnay 2010…or three), you can barely stretch your body out to a standing position, your pants are already unbuttoned and you are debating just giving up and putting on sweats, and the couch calls out to you “I’m here, it’s what I’m here for, forget the others, you need rest, you need me.”  It’s such a sweet voice, so alluring, the temptress has nothing on this sultry harlot of post meal temptation.  Yet, I shall not give in.  It’s not so much that I shan’t as I can’t.  Too many people, too loud, too much responsibility, too much after cleaning (really mom?  You’re not only going to load MY dishwasher but now you are going to put away dishes in my kitchen full well knowing you have NO IDEA where they go?  Mind you, at this point, no one will have noticed that Trey has climbed the mountain (the stack of mattress and old couch cushions in the basement that I use to throw the kids on for fun) and is now in the duct work somewhere between the 1st and second floor along some wall, Rachel will be showing somebody how to do a handstand push up, my dad will be making Joe AND Bella cry, my brother-in-law Rich will be watching football (he’s a real Christian, they only have basic cable bless his heart) while holding MY remote like it’s gold (that will actually make me feel really good to give him that moment), my other brother-in-law Bob will ACTUALLY be taking a nap, and I will be, well, not.

I remember back to my younger days.  I was married, no kids, maybe even younger than that.  After dinner I would (once or twice) just give in to the couch…and nap.  It was fine, not great, I would actually get annoyed at everyone else for making noise or sitting on me or thinking it was funny to mess with me or simply just existing.  The nap would be “ruined” and I would give up.  Looking further back I remember my grandfather…Pop Pop Mitlo.  No, not the one who made me feel like I was awesome for doing anything.  No, this one was the boss.  He fired everyone (especially his wife my grandmother) all the time…we’re suing Donald Trump for stealing his Pop-Pop’s line.  Anyhow, Pop-Pop Mitlo could nap.  He did nap, he was nap.  The couch didn’t have to be open and available, he made it available (you didn’t want any part of his nap).  He wasn’t the cozy cuddly type, he was the lean on you till you moved or hit you with the newspaper, or pillow, or his hand (typically the back of his hand in flipping fashion, not aggressive, just dismissive), or his wine glass, anything really, until you moved.  Then, he napped.  Mouth open, hand on face, sleep kind of nap.  I was annoyed.  Now, I realize that he was awesome, brilliant, he napped like a boss…he was the boss.

So, do it for me.  Nap.  I talked with my guys from the volleyball team last year (and some younger alumni).  I implored them, “Nap.  Even if you’re not tired.  Nap.  If you have to go into your or a bedroom…nap.  Don’t just do it for me (which is more than enough reason) do it for you.  More accurately, do it for the  you of 15 years from now.  No, it doesn’t make sense today but please, listen to me.  I  yearn to implore the me of yesteryear, “SLEEP man!  Own it!  Make some space, find some space, just nap!  It’s a glorious thing you won’t have forever.  Guilty?  You feel guilty?  No, no no no no, there isn’t time for that.  Let it go, let yourself go, just nap.”  Yet I cannot reach him, he’s gone.  The me of today is all that is here and he can’t nap, he shall not nap, he won’t be napping.  So please…nap.  Do it for me.

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